Posted: Feb 26, 2013 7:26 AM
Updated: Feb 26, 2013 7:29 AM
ABEOKUTA, Nigeria (AP) Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has said that poverty is fueling the violence now sweeping across Nigeria's north.
Clinton, speaking Tuesday in southwestern city of Abeokuta, said the violence happens in regions that have incredible poverty compared to the more prosperous cities in Nigeria's south.
Clinton said the problems "appear to be rooted in religious differences," but take root in poverty. He said strong state and federal government agencies should help, but he cautioned against oil-rich Nigeria simply taking a "divide the pie" approach of throwing money at the troubled areas to stop the violence.
Nigeria, home to more than 160 million people, is facing an increasing campaign of guerrilla shootings and bombings from Islamic extremists in the nation's north. Foreign workers have been increasingly targeted for kidnappings, as well.