Mahama set to mobilize West Africa over anti-Boko Haram force

Bonn, (PresseBox) - Ghanaian President John Mahama tells Deutsche Welle (DW) that he believes there is no longer any room for negotiation with the Nigerian Islamist terror group Boko Haram. "I don't think negotiations have gone anywhere," he says.

Mahama points out that all previous attempts at talks have failed. "We cannot say we are waiting for negotiations and dialogue while the group continues to abduct and kill people," he says.

Mahama, who currently chairs the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, is placing his hopes on a regional intervention force, with assistance in "logistics and equipment and finance" from Germany and other European nations. "I don't envisage seeing European boots on the ground in northeastern Nigeria," he adds.

After talks with Mahama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin she welcomed the idea of a regional force and held out the prospect of financial support. Mahama tells DW that he is confident other countries would follow Germany in offering help.

"We have seen that kind of assistance before coming from Europe in the case of Mali," he says, referring to the French military intervention in the African nation and the subsequent UN mission MINUSMA, in which armed forces from Germany and other European nations are involved. "We have a record of that kind of cooperation and I am sure that we can do the same again," Mahama says.

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