French President Francois Hollande will attend a summit in Nigeria on Saturday that’s meant to find a regional response to the security threat posed by militants in West and Central Africa, according to Nigeria’s presidency.
Nigeria and France plan to sign a defense cooperation agreement during the summit in the capital, Abuja, the office of President Muhammadu Buhari said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The heads of state of Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin will also attend the talks to address the crises caused in the region by “terrorist groups,” according to the statement.
Buhari has pledged to quash the militant organization Boko Haram, whose campaign to impose sharia law has costs thousands of lives in northeastern Nigeria. Since the beginning of the year, neighboring countries including Cameroon and Niger have witnessed a surge in attacks by supporters of the group.