25 February 2015 By Tomi Oladipo BBC Africa security correspondent
Military chiefs from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Benin and Niger are finalising their strategy for a 8,750-strong regional force to tackle the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
In the last few weeks, the Multinational Joint Task Force has retaken several towns captured by the militants in north-eastern Nigeria. Now, the regional chiefs are preparing for a major ground and air offensive due to start next month - and are meeting in Chad this week to set out the command structure. The force will be led by a Nigerian commander, after which the position will rotate among the members.