Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan designated two Islamist organizations as terrorist groups, toughening his stance against insurgents fighting the government in the country’s mainly Muslim north. The latest measure stipulates at least 20 years in jail for being a member or supporter of the Boko Haram or Ansaru militant groups, Reuben Abati, President Jonathan’s spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The announcement came a day after the U.S. said it would pay bounties for information leading to the capture of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and other militants active in North and West Africa. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin” in the local Hausa language, has killed thousands in gun and bomb attacks across Nigeria’s north and Abuja, the capital, since 2009. The group says it wants Islamic rule in Africa’s top oil producer and most-populous country, which is almost evenly split between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south.
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