World

France increases its efforts to back African forces fighting Boko Haram

France has reoriented its military efforts in West Africa to focus more on the fight against Boko Haram, especially by providing intelligence to the African countries that are at war against the extremist movement.

France supports the offensive led by Chad in cooperation with Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria — Boko Haram's base.

About 30 French troops are deployed in Niger since last month near the Nigerian border, and French jets frequently fly over the area to provide intelligence, according to two French top diplomatic officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

France also provides fuel and food supplies to Chadian troops, said one of the officials.

France has deployed 3,000 troops in five countries of the Sahel in an operation aiming at fighting Islamic extremists in the region.