A regional force put in place to counter the Boko Haram group in Nigeria will start operations in November, West African leaders decided after a summit in Niger Republic on Tuesday.
The leaders agreed to speed up the creation of a headquarters for the Force and have military battalions deployed “to our respective borders” by November 1, the heads of state said in a joint statement.
The new headquarters for the Force is now due to be completed by November 20, the leaders added.
According to AFP, the announcement followed a day of talks between the leaders of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Benin, and the foreign minister of Cameroon.
“After gaining independence, the survival of our countries has never been so threatened by the menace of terrorism, by the forces of division and by organized crime,” said Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou who hosted the summit.
In July, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon had each pledged 700 soldiers to create a multi-national force to fight the Nigeria-based group, which has killed more than 10,000 people since 2009.