Nigerian Major General Iliya Abbah was appointed head of a multinational force that will coordinate regional efforts to combat Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.
Abbah took command on Thursday, replacing Major General T.Y. Buratai, who was appointed Nigeria’s chief of army staff this month, Colonel Sani Usman, an army spokesman, said by phone. The taskforce has 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin, he said.
Nigeria is facing an upsurge in attacks since President Muhammadu Buhari took office at the end of May. Boko Haram’s home ground is northeastern Nigeria, where it has killed thousands of people in a six-year campaign to establish its version of Shariah, or Islamic law.