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UN Chief Travels to Nigeria

  • VOA News

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon travels to Nigeria on Sunday to meet the country's new president and to commemorate the anniversary of a deadly attack on the United Nation's building in Abuja.

U.N. officials said Friday that Ban will meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in May, as well as other leaders from government, civil society and business.

U.N. spokeswoman Eri Kaneko says Ban is expected to discuss development, climate change, human rights, and countering violent extremism while in Nigeria.

He will also mark the anniversary of the 2011 suicide car bombing at the U.N. headquarters in Abuja, which killed 21 people.

The secretary-general then travels to Paris to discuss preparations for a major climate change conference to be held there in December. He will also meet with French President Francois Hollande.

Buhari took office in May, marking Nigeria's first democratic transfer of power since the end of military rule in 1999.

He has made fighting corruption and defeating Islamic militants top priorities of his new administration.

Nigeria's military under former president Goodluck Jonathan was heavily criticized for failing to stop the six-year Boko Haram insurgency. The militant group, which has pledged allegiance to the militant group Islamic State, has killed more than 10,000 Nigerians in its campaign to impose Islamic rule on northern Nigeria.

While violence has been a persistent problem in northern Nigeria, the country faces other major concerns, including corruption, electricity shortages and a precipitous drop in price of its largest hard currency export - oil.

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