France blasts attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon

France on Monday strongly condemned the latest attacks in Nigeria and Cameroon by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and also praised the support role of Chad in moving forces to combat the militants in the region.

Deadly attacks and kidnappings were reported in north-east Cameroon on January 17-18, which coincided with more bomb attacks in Nigeria.

“We offer our condolences to the families of the victims of terrorism and call for the immediate release of people kidnapped,” a French statement said.

“France reaffirms its solidarity and its support for the Cameroonian, Chadian and Nigerian populations in the fight against Boko Haram,” an official statement said.

At the same time, the Foreign Ministryin its statement here “praised the commitment of the Chadian authorities and supports a robust and concerted regional response” to the long series of attacks by Boko Haram.

“We have been contributing for several months to get a regional dimension for this crisis to be taken into account,” the French statement said, noting that there has been sharing of intelligence and progress on international sanctions and the building of a multinational force to fight terrorism in the region.

A high-level meeting at ministerial level is to be held in the Niger capital, Niamey, on January 20 to reinforce the regional mobilisation and engage more international support, it was indicated here.