06 June 2014 defenceWeb (Reuters)
William Hague will host a meeting of African and Western officials in London next week aimed at stepping up international efforts to defeat Islamist group Boko Haram, his office said on Thursday.
Although Boko Haram has been fighting for five years, carrying out bombings and attacks on civilians and the security forces, the kidnapping in April of more than 200 girls from a school in the northeast has focused world attention on them.
The June 12 London meeting will be attended by the Nigerian foreign minister and representatives from neighbouring African countries Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, Hague's office said. Officials from Britain, the United States, France, Canada and the European Union will also be present.
"The meeting will consider what can be more done both to improve regional coordination, and on economic and social development to counter the threat of Boko Haram," the Foreign Office said in a statement.
Hague said: "The London Ministerial on Security in Northern Nigeria will ... consider further options to combat terrorism. This shows the determination of those in the region, with the support of the international community, to defeat Boko Haram."