Posted by News Express | 28 January 2013 | 3,533 times
Under increasing pressure at home and with its supply lines in Mali being cut off by a multinational military force, war-weary Boko Haram may have finally decided to give peace a chance.
A report this evening in the online paper 247Ureports said the violent Islamic sect today agreed to lay down its arms “for peace to prevail after an agreement was reached in a closed-door meeting of members of the group also called the Jama’atul Ahalis Sunna Lida’awati Wal with the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, other top government officials and religious leaders from the state.”
Quoting the blog newsbytesnow as its source, 247Ureports said: “The acclaimed Commander in-charge of North and Central Borno, Sheikh Abu Mohammad Abdulazeez Ibn Idris, while briefing journalists after the meeting that lasted for hours said that after due consultation with the leader of the sect, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, as well as intervention and pleading from respectful individuals/groups in the state, they have all come to terms and agreed to lay down their arms.
“The group however insisted that, Government should immediately and unconditionally release all their members from custody.
“It also demanded that their places of worship be rebuilt, adding that the government compensate them, among other demands.”
News Express reports that this is the second time Boko Haram, which has killed over 3,000 persons since it started its murderous campaign in Nigeria’s far north in intensified from 2011, would be announcing a ceasefire. Early last November, the group also said it had decided to give peace a chance and even named former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari as leader of its negotiating team. Buhari, however, turned down the offer and no negotiations are known to have taken place after the Nigerian Government said it could not negotiate with a faceless group. Nigeria last week sent soldiers to Mali to boost a joint military force of West Africa and France established to end al-Qaeda presence in Mali believed to be feeding the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.
•Photo: Boko Haram leader Sheikh Abubakar Shekau.
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