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Mahama leaves for AU summit today

President John Dramani Mahama will leave on Wednesday for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to attend 24th African Union (AU) Summit.

Speaking in an earlier interview, President Mahama hinted that this summit amongst other things will dedicate a large part of the discussion to the Boko Haram insurgency and a possible formation of a regional force to intervene.

He pointed out that it is imperative for the whole continent to join forces to help Nigeria and Cameroon fight Boko Haram because “all of us in the sub-region are threatened by Boko Haram and indeed on the whole continent.”Prior to Friday’s AU summit, all Foreign Affairs Ministers in Africa have been meeting at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The summit was originally scheduled to discuss women empowerment and development but the intensity of the operations of Boko Haram has changed the agenda of the summit.

According to Presdient Mahama, the change in topic was based on a suggestion by ECOWAS that Boko Haram “become a major topic for the AU summit.”

He said ECOWAS is hoping to get AU to support the creation of a regional force to confront and defeat Boko Haram.

President Mahama who is also the chairman of ECOWAS commended Chad for sending troops into Cameroon but insisted that “we need to structure something properly that allows our partners to provide financing and logistics so that more countries are involved in ensuring that we deal with it in a more comprehensive manner than individual countries supporting other countries.”

He was hopeful that ECOWAS will reach an agreement with the AU “which we will see countries contribute to a force that deals with Boko Haram in a more comprehensive manner.”

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