(Businessday) French President Francois Hollande said he supports Nigeria in its fight against “terrorists” who he said are threatening economic prosperity throughout Africa.
“Your struggle is our struggle,” Hollande said today in remarks broadcast on Nigerian national television during a visit to the capital, Abuja. “The struggle against terrorism is also the struggle for democracy.”
Nigerian security forces are struggling to quell a rebellion by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, which has carried out a violent campaign since 2009 to impose Shariah, or Islamic law, on Africa’s biggest oil producer.
Designated a “terrorist” group by the U.S. in November, Boko Haram drew international condemnation from international leaders including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when it killed at least 29 students in an attack on a school in the northeast of the country this week.
“Security is crucial to development,” Hollande said. “This is a continent full of promise but which may be hindered by instability and the lack of security.”