Lagos - Nigeria has named a general to lead the multinational force fighting Boko Haram, taking over the command from Chad.
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The appointment comes soon after the inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the day before he is scheduled to visit N'Djamena, the capital of Chad and the force's headquarters.
A Defense Ministry statement Wednesday said Maj. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai has already assumed his new duties commanding troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
It said his appointment was agreed to by contributing nations and has the backing of France, Britain and the United States.
The multinational army this year has driven Nigeria's home-grown Islamic extremists from northeastern towns where they had declared an Islamic caliphate. The insurgents continue hit-and-run attacks and bombings from a northeastern forest stronghold.