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Five Nations pledge troops to anti-Boko Haram Force

By on February 10, 2015

Five African nations pledged an 8,700-strong force to fight the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has expanded its attacks from Nigeria into neighboring Cameroon and Niger.

Nigeria, Chad, Benin, Niger and Cameroon will contribute civilian, police and military personnel to the force, which will be based in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, the five nations said in a statement e-mailed by the African Union on Tuesday. The proposed force must be approved by the AU’s Peace and Security Council and then the United Nations Security Council, it said.

Boko Haram, which seeks to impose Islamic law in Africa’s most populous country of more than 170 million people, has seized control of an area about the size of Belgium, killing thousands and forcing Nigeria to postpone elections initially scheduled to hold this month.

The five nations want a “central military command” for the force and to define its area of operation based on where Boko Haram is active, according to the statement.

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