Ban in Nigeria to mark bombing of U.N. office, Boko Haram’s abduction of 219 girls

AP

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Nigeria on Sunday to commemorate the Boko Haram bombing of his organization’s headquarters and focus new attention on 219 schoolgirls held by the extremists.

Ban will meet with Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, amid plans to launch a long-delayed regional offensive against the West African country’s Islamic insurgents.

A U.N. statement said the leaders will discuss ways to counter violent extremism as well as human rights and climate change.

Ban also is scheduled to meet the Bring Back Our Girls group, which demands government action to free 219 abducted schoolgirls held now for nearly 500 days, according to the group.

Also on Monday, he will lay a wreath to mark the anniversary of the Aug. 26, 2011, car bombing that killed 21 people at the U.N. Nigeria headquarters in Abuja. A suicide bomber drove through barriers and the car exploded as he smashed into the reception of the building.