West African leaders hold talks in Ghana over insecurity in Nigeria, Mali

Leaders will brainstorm on Boko Haram and Mali separatists

West African leaders are to hold an extraordinary meeting Friday, in Accra, Ghana, to discuss the degenerating security situation in Nigeria and Mali where Islamists militants have launched intense attacks in the last one month.

A meeting of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, will also allow the leaders brainstorm on other issues of mutual and urgent concern in the sub-region.

The one-day summit is the first to be hosted by Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama since his election in February 2014 as chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Community.

President Mahama would be expected to address the summit on the issues, while the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo would present memoranda on the security situations in the two member countries for consideration by members.

A statement on Thursday said the meeting was convened especially to enable member states deliberate on the security situations in Mali and Nigeria.

In Mali, Islamic separatists have held sway in the country’s desert north, clashing repeatedly with sate forces.
Nigeria has also come under increased attacks from Islamists group, Boko Haram, which has killed over 12,000 people since 2009.

The insecurity in the two countries have threatened to spill into the larger West African sub-region.

The meeting became necessary following the latest clashes between rebel groups in Kidal, northern Mali and government forces, which resulted in the loss of several lives, with thousands of people suffering displaced.

The agenda of the meeting showed that the regional leaders would also discuss the security situation in parts of northern Nigeria where the militant group, Boko Haram has waged a terrorist campaign that has left many people dead, wanton destruction of property and kidnappings of innocent cititzens, including children.

Boko Haram has in the last 47 days abducted more than 250 school girls from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.

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