President Muhammadu Buhari, pictured at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, February 3, has expressed Nigeria’s solidarity with Belgium following attacks that killed at least 30 people in Brussels.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels “reinforce the need for greater international cooperation” in fighting militant groups.
At least 30 people were killed in the Belgian city after a suspected suicide bomb attack at Zaventem airport and an explosion at the Maelbeek metro station. The attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and come just days after Salah Abdeslam, one of the last remaining suspects from the November 2015 attacks in Paris—in which 130 people were killed—was arrested in Brussels.
The incidents have been condemned by numerous world leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Nigeria has faced a six-year insurgency from Boko Haram, a militant group that pledged allegiance to ISIS in March 2015, that has resulted in some 20,000 deaths and more than two million people being displaced.
In a statement released by Nigeria’s state house Aso Rock, Buhari said that Nigeria stood “in full solidarity” with Belgium and wished those injured in the attacks a speedy recovery. “The president assures the global community that under his leadership, Nigeria will continue to work with other countries of the world to ensure that terrorism never triumphs over free, peaceful and law-abiding nations and peoples of the world,” said the statement.
Other African heads of state have also come out in condemnation of the attacks and in support of Belgium. Alassane Ouattara, the president of Ivory Coast—itself the victim of a militant attack claimed by Al-Qaeda’s North African branch earlier in March, in which 18 people were killed—expressed his solidarity with both Belgium and Mali.
It is not clear which specific incident in Mali he was referring to, but an attack on a hotel in the capital Bamako killed 20 people in November 2015 . Al-Qaeda’s North African franchise also claimed responsibility for a foiled attack on a Bamako hotel that has been converted into an EU military training base on Monday.Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza also expressed his condolences to the Belgian people for the “attacks of unspeakable savagery” that took place in Brussels.
Burundi, which has been riven by conflict since Nkurunziza announced his intention to run for a third term in April 2015, was formerly part of the Belgian colonial empire as Ruanda-Urundi, which later became the independent states of Rwanda and Burundi in 1962. Senegalese President Macky Sall also sent his support to Belgium in these “times of trial,” while Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama said that the incident was “another cowardly attack on innocent civilians.”