Inside Story

Boko Haram: dialogue or defeat?

African leaders agree to join forces and declare war on the armed group in Nigeria.

Last updated: 18 May 2014 20:50
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A summit in Paris has agreed on a global and regional plan of action to combat the armed group Boko Haram, which has kidnapped more than 200 girls in Nigeria. The leaders of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin pledged to share intelligence and co-ordinate action against the group.

The summit, hosted by French president Francois Hollande, also brought together representatives from the UK, US and EU.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram was 'acting clearly as an al-Qaeda operation' and the threat it poses is now an international problem.

From the Nigerian capital Abuja, Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reports: "People here in Nigeria feel that the threat of Boko Haram will not disappear as long as the government does not deal with core issues that brought about the insurgency in the beginning. These include grinding poverty, unemployment and the unfair distribution of the country’s wealth."

So should the government’s priority be the outright defeat of Boko Haram? Or should the focus be on dialogue and discussion about the wider issues affecting Nigeria?

Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria


Phil Rees: filmmaker with the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit, and author of 'Dining with Terrorists'

Max Gbanite:  Strategic security consultant and defence analyst

Aliyu Musa: an independent researcher on War and Conflict study


Al Jazeera
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