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Nigeria names fifth commander in under two years

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Nigerian soldiers patrol Panshekara district on the outskirts of the northern city of Kano April 19, 2007. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti

MAIDUGURI (Reuters) – Nigeria has named its fifth commander in less than two years to lead the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency, the army said on Saturday, a move military sources say was related to continued attacks by Islamists.

The attacks could hurt President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances of re-election in Feb. 2019. He campaigned in 2015 vowing to end the insurgency but the conflict is entering its 10th year with attacks by Boko Haram and a group that splintered from it, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).

Major General Abba Dikko, who in July took over command of Operation Lafiya Dole, has been replaced as the head of that operation by Major General Benson Akinroluyo, the army said in an emailed statement that outlined dozens of redeployments.

Major Dikko has been moved to the Department of Civil Military Affairs to fill the position of chief of civil military affairs.

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