March 18, 2015 / 9:45 PM / 2 years ago

Central, West African leaders to meet over Boko Haram in April

ACCRA (Reuters) - Central and West African states will hold a summit next month to agree a common strategy to combat the Boko Haram insurgency, their leaders said on Wednesday.

Armies from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger have launched an offensive to end the Islamic militant group's six-year campaign, which has killed thousands in northern Nigeria and spilled over into Cameroon and Niger.

Ghana's president John Dramani Mahama and his Chadian counterpart Idriss Deby told reporters in Accra that the April 7-8 summit, for which the host country has yet to be chosen, was needed to sustain the regional offensive.

Mahama chairs the West African regional bloc Ecowas, while Deby heads the Economic Community of Central African States (Eccas).

"Single-handedly, no country can overcome this threat and therefore through pooling our resources together ...we are going to overcome this challenge," Deby told reporters.

Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; editing by John Stonestreet

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