North Africa

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

(1) what assessment he has made of the potential threat of Boko Haram spreading across Northern Africa;

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of countries in Northern Africa in which Boko Haram has a foothold; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Chair, Regulatory Reform Committee, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Chair, Regulatory Reform Committee

Boko Haram concentrates its attacks in northern Nigeria but is regularly reported to operate in neighbouring countries, particularly Cameroon, Chad and Niger. It has reportedly conducted attacks and kidnappings in these countries. We have no evidence that Boko Haram is currently operating in North Africa.

The UK is committed to supporting Nigeria and its neighbours tackle the threat from Boko Haram. On 12 June we hosted a ministerial meeting for Nigeria, its neighbours and international partners in London which agreed measures to strengthen regional co-operation against Boko Haram. These measures included establishing a regional intelligence fusion cell and co-ordinated border patrols. The UK also approved bilateral support including military and intelligence co-operation. On 3 September I visited Nigeria, where I met both President Jonathan and Foreign Minister Wali. In those meetings I expressed the UK's deep sympathy for the plight of the school girls and discussed further measures for securing their release. The UK will continue to work closely with. Nigeria and the international community to tackle the threat posed by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram.

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