Leaders from Central Africa met on Monday, to finalise plans for a military offensive against the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
Presidents from the 10-nation Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) pledged in an extraordinary meeting in Yaounde, Cameroon, to create an $86 million emergency fund to fight Boko Haram.
They also urged the international community to provide more support to counter the terrorist group.
The insurgents have killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds in a five-year insurgency in northern Nigeria, and has recently intensified cross-border raids on neighboring countries in the Lake Chad area.
“This session is historic because we must use it to respond to the barbaric actions of the terrorist group Boko Haram,” the Secretary-General of ECCAS, Hamid Alami, said on Monday.
“My counterparts from the ECCAS and I decided to create an emergency fund of 50 billion CFA francs ($86.72 million) to fight Boko Haram,” the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo, who was also present at the one-day summit, said on his personal Twitter account.
Nigeria, where elections had been postponed from February 14 to March 28 and April 11 because of the Boko Haram insurgency especially in the north-east, was absent from the meeting as it is part of ECOWAS and not an ECCAS member.
Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria had formed a military alliance to combat the Islamist group who is fighting against western influence in the northern part of Nigeria, as it wants to introduce Islamic law in the areas.