West African leaders have issued a strong warning to Boko Haram, vowing to wage "war" against the Islamist militant group.
At a security meeting with U.S. and European Union representatives in Paris, Nigeria and four neighboring countries pledged to share intelligence and coordinate border surveillance in the search for the more than 200 Nigerian girls still held captive by Boko Haram.
French President Francois Hollande described the group as more than just a regional threat, and announced Western nations will provide technical expertise and training to West African countries. (Via BBC)
According to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Boko Haram's guerrilla campaign to establish an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, and injured or maimed 8,000 more. (Via CNN)
On April 14, officials say the group abducted an estimated 276 girls from a boarding school in northeastern Nigeria. Some of the girls have escaped, but at least 223 remain unaccounted for. (via NBC)
Last week Boko Haram released this video, which claims to show 130 of the abducted school girls. Nigerian officials say the families have identified at least 54 of the girls in the video as those who went missing from the school last month. (Via Sky News)
President Jonathan's government has received criticism for what many say has been a slow response to the kidnappings, and ineffective handling of the Boko Haram situation overall.
According to The Telegraph, Jonathan dismissed those criticisms, pointing out the Islamist movement only emerged in 2009: "We didn't have the architecture to deal with that ... As we progress you will see that the Nigerian military will cope. Definitely we will overcome it."
Officials say Nigeria now has 20,000 troops plus aircraft searching for the girls in part of the country where Boko Haram is most active.