May 17 - West African leaders meeting in France vowed to wage ''total war'' on Boko Haram saying the Nigerian Islamist group had become a regional ''al Qaeda.'' Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan arrives in France for a summit on the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which is holding hundreds of school girls captive. He sat down with leaders from the West and West Africa to flesh out a plans to share intelligence, coordinate action and monitor borders. They agreed to work together to wage "total war" on the insurgent group. French President Francois Hollande says the threat extends beyond Nigeria's borders. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "The message we want to send is that we know the threat, it is serious, it is serious for the region, for Africa and also for Europe." Jonathan went a step further with his characterization of Boko Haram. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NIGERIAN PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN. SAYING: "It can better be described as al Qaeda in west and central Africa. It's not longer the Boko Haram that came with the sentiments that western education is prohibited and that women must not go to school." Boko Haram has killed more than 3,000 people in its effort to establish an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.