Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has invited the UN to negotiate with Boko Haram to end their seven-year Islamist insurgency and secure the release of the more than 200 abducted Chibok girls.
He said he was willing to swap Boko Haram fighters in custody for the girls.
But he said it was difficult to know who within Boko Haram after splits in its leadership emerged this year:
“Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders. We will welcome intermediaries such as UN outfits, to step in.”
Mr Buhari was speaking on the sidlelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The abduction of the schoolgirls led to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, that was supported by US First Lady Michelle Obama and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.
So far only one schoolgirl has been found after two years in captivity.
In the last 18 months Boko Haram has lost most of the territory it had controlled after being pushed back in an offensive by the military of Nigeria and its neighbours.