Nigerian leader asks UN to help free abducted Chibok Girls

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is inviting the United Nations to help negotiations to swap the kidnapped schoolgirls from Chibok for detained leaders of the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group.

His government has been criticized by parents of the abducted students, community leaders and human rights activists for failing to free the Chibok girls. The mass abduction of 276 girls in April 2014 incited outrage around the world. Dozens escaped but 217 remain missing.

A government statement said Buhari's offer is a "show of commitment" made to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Buhari told Ban that finding credible Boko Haram leaders for the negotiations has been made more difficult by an ongoing leadership struggle among the extremists.