Boko Haram Tops Agenda of Niger President’s Talks in France

issoufouNigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou arrived in France on Monday for talks aimed at building a stronger coalition to battle the Islamist militants of Boko Haram in the West-African nation.

Issoufou’s visit comes 10 days after the attack of Boko Haram in the city of Bosso on the border with Nigeria, which left 32 soldiers dead and dozens more wounded.

Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamic state adhering to strict Sharia, Islamic law, in northeastern Nigeria since 2009. About 2.1 million people have been displaced and thousands killed during the insurgency.

Chad has sent 2,000 troops to Niger to prepare a counterattack against the terror group.

Issoufou, who is viewed as a key ally in fighting terrorism by both Paris and Washington, is scheduled to meet the French president, on Tuesday afternoon.

He will later hold talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault during an official dinner on Tuesday night and with French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on Wednesday.

Niger, which is challenged by both terrorism and poverty, has one of the world’s highest birth rates – 7.6 babies for each woman – as well as high maternal mortality, according to the United Nations.

Only four of every 10 girls are enrolled in primary school. Only three of 100 girls make it to high school.

About Geraldine Boechat 2764 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia