Nigeria's Buhari Urges UN Support Against Islamist Groups

Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, addresses the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in New York, on Sept. 19.

Photographer: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

President Muhammadu Buhari urged the international community to support the Lake Chad region in its fight against Islamist extremism even as other conflicts emerge.

Nigeria and neighboring countries lack the resources and the capacity to effectively deal with the security threat from groups linked to al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations, he said Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Muhammadu Buhari addresses the United Nations General Assembly Sept. 19.

Photographer: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

“New conflicts should not make us lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts,” Buhari said.

The Islamist group Boko Haram has waged an eight-year war from its base in northeastern Nigeria to impose its version of Islamic law in Africa’s most populous country, leaving tens of thousands of people dead and forcing millions to flee. The region, which is facing a near-famine after suffering at least $9 billion in damage from the destruction of bridges, schools and villages, already had some of the country’s highest illiteracy and poverty levels before the insurgency began in 2009.

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