Niger votes to send troops to fight Nigeria’s Boko Haram
Niger’s parliament has unanimously voted to deploy troops to neighboring Nigeria to join a regional fight against Boko Haram terrorists.
A Nigerien lawmaker said all the 102 present MPs voted on Monday in favor of sending troops to join the regional forces from Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad in their fight against the Takfiri militants.
Another unnamed member of parliament said the resolution allows the government to send some 750 soldiers to fight along with the five-nation force.
The vote came a couple of days after the five-member bloc pledged to create an 8,700-strong force to battle the terrorist group.
Prior to the vote, Boko Haram militants set off a car bomb at a local market in the Nigerien town of Diffa, killing five people and injuring five others.
The attack came as the Takfiri group has escalated its attacks in countries neighboring Nigeria, namely Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
On February 7, the militants abducted 20 people aboard a bus in northern Cameroon near the Nigerian border, before executing 12 of them.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” controls parts of northeastern Nigeria and says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.
It has claimed responsibility for a spate of deadly shootings and bombings in various parts of Nigeria since the beginning of its militancy in 2009, which has left 1.5 million displaced and over 13,000 others dead. At least 10,000 of the victims were killed over the past year alone.