Nigeria's Buhari Urges Halt in Ransom Payments to Terrorists

(Bloomberg) -- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari urged his fellow African leaders to collaborate to stop ransom payments and all forms of financing for terrorism networks on the continent.

The leader of Africa’s most populous nation called for the creation of a continental database on terrorist groups and a halt to all flows of funds to them as part of a comprehensive approach to fighting the threat.

“Concerted efforts must be made to not only dismantle the network between transnational organized crimes and terrorist organizations, but also to block the payment of ransom to terrorist groups,” Buhari told African leaders at a meeting in Addis Ababa, according to a government statement.

Boko Haram, a terrorist group with ties to Islamic State militants, has sought to impose a version of Sharia law in an eight-year campaign of killings in northeastern Nigeria. The group has taken hostages in the past, but the government has denied paying ransoms for their release. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al-Shabaab, another al-Qaeda linked group blamed for an Oct. 14 truck bombing in the Somali capital of Mogadishu that killed more than 300 people, have raised millions of dollars from ransom payments.

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