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African leaders to meet in effort to vanquish Boko Haram

A coalition of African nations will meet Wednesday to coordinate efforts against Boko Haram. The Islamist insurgency is active in four different countries, with regional leaders vowing to crush the militants.

Leaders of central and west African nations will meet for talks on Wednesday to examine the region's campaign to defeat the terrorist group Boko Haram.

The April 8 talks will be the first such meeting since Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari won the election, taking over from his rival and predecessor Goodluck Jonathan.

Buhari, a former military leader,

has promised to wipe away the "terror"

the Islamist militants have spread across the country. Some credit his victory at the Nigerian polls to outgoing Jonathan's failure to tackle the extremists.

"I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will," Buhari said last week.

The meeting will take place in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea. The West African bloc of nations ECOWAS will join their central African counterparts of ECCAS to address the "mounting and increasingly bloody attacks by the fundamentalists against Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad."

Experts from both groups have already met in Cameroon to lay the diplomatic groundwork for the summit, according to ECOWAS. The goal of the summit is the creation of a more concrete plan to "eradicate" the jihadist group, including the coordination of military strategy.

The inadequate sharing of intelligence between the affected nations has been a major stumbling block in the bid to crush the terrorist's campaign.

Boko Haram's trail of violence throughout northeastern Nigeria has left more than 15,000 dead since their insurgency began in 2009. United Nations human rights chief Zeid Raad al Hussein

made an appeal last week for stronger international support

for the nations battling the menace of Boko Haram, decrying the "despicable and wanton carnage" of the group, accusing them of murdering the women they take as "wives."

es/rc (AFP, LUSA)

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