Nigerian government and Boko Haram strike deal to release kidnapped girls
Six months after Boko Haram abducted more than 250 schoolgirls from Nigeria, the Nigerian government has announced yesterday that it has struck a deal with the Haram to ceasefire and a part of it says that the girls will be released.
The ceasefire deal was discussed in Saudi Arabia reportedly mediated by Chad by the Haram and Nigerian authorities for almost three days at the end of which the Haram agreed to sign the deal. Nigeria’s head of military forces and Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh said, “I wish to inform this audience that a ceasefire agreement has been concluded.”
Government official Mike Omeri said that the deal included the release of the school children and also other people held in captivity by the group. He also said that the Haram has given assurance to release the schoolgirls and other people and that they are alive and in good health. However, there has been no announcement about what concessions the government has made in order to get them to agree to release the girls.
It is also said that Marshal Badeh has agreed to the ceasefire agreement and has issued instructions to his troops to comply with the terms of the agreement “in all theatres of operations. The self proclaimed secretary general of Boko Haram, Danladi Ahmadu, also confirmed that they have reached a ceasefire agreement.
Boko Haram has been a trouble for Nigeria for almost five years now and the government has tried to negotiate with it several times but in vain mainly because of the different factions existing in the group. A government source said, “There are some talks but it depends on the buy-in of the whole group. I would be surprised if Shekau had suddenly changed his mind and is ready for a ceasefire.”