Nigerian demands Niger to capture top kidnapping suspect

Nigeria’s military has called on neighboring Niger to arrest Halilu Buzu, a notorious gang leader and one of the country’s most wanted criminals.

This request was made by the Defence Headquarters spokesperson, Major General Edward Buba, on Thursday.

Buba identified Buzu as a Niger national and a major arms supplier linked to Libyan arms dealers.

He further revealed that Buzu operates an illegal gold mine in Zamfara, a Nigerian state severely impacted by kidnappings and banditry.

According to Buba, Buzu frequently evades capture by fleeing across the border into Niger.

“When troops close in on him, he moves across the border into the Republic of Niger for refuge,” Buba stated.

The Nigerian military is now urging Nigerien authorities to apprehend Buzu and hold him accountable for his crimes.

In November 2022, the Nigerian army reported that it had killed Buzu alongside other kidnapping gang leaders.

However, Buba clarified to Reuters that it is not uncommon for multiple individuals, including terrorists, to share the same name.

The military also reported that members of Buzu’s gang were responsible for the recent killing of 19 villagers in Zamfara.

The northwest region of Nigeria has been plagued by banditry for years, leading to the deaths of thousands of people.

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