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Give more help to Africans - Hollande

06 February 2015, 06:54

Paris - President Francois Hollande called on Thursday on the international community "to act" in the fight against extremism in Africa rather than "give lessons", saying France could not go it alone.

The African Union has backed plans for a regional five-nation force of 7 500 troops to defeat the deadly rise of Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria, and Chad has since deployed its army to join the fight against the jihadists.

France is supporting the operations by carrying out reconnaissance flights over border areas of Chad and Cameroon to provide the two nations with intelligence, defence officials in Paris have said.

Hollande said Paris was also providing fuel and occasionally munitions for the operations.

But "France cannot settle all the world's conflicts," he told reporters at one of his bi-annual press conferences.

The country is already taking part in a US-led operation against the Islamic State group in Iraq, and has deployed troops in the Sahel region to fight against extremists.

Also read: At least two arrested in 'anti-jihadist' raid in France: Security source

"There is a message that I want to send to the international community and to the biggest countries," he said.

"Do your job, don't give lessons, act. Do your duty, no one else will do it in your place.

"We must help the Africans much more to act against terrorism. If we don't do it, countries will be destabilised once again."

At least 13 000 people have been killed and more than a million forced from their homes since Boko Haram launched an insurgency in Nigeria in 2009.

In recent months Boko Haram, which aims to establish an Islamic caliphate, has also carried out increasing cross-border raids, threatening regional security.

The group has stepped up its attacks in recent weeks, in a move believed to be aimed at disrupting presidential and parliamentary elections due on 14 February.



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