Sadly, there are massive doubts over the Nigerian government’s recent claims that they had reached a truce with Boko Haram. There were attacks on three villages in Adamawa state last week where dozens were killed, and although Boko Haram have not claimed responsibility, they are the assumed perpetrators. And just this morning the BBC has reported that 30 children have been kidnapped and 17 people killed in raids on Mafa, a village in North Eastern Nigeria.
The chief of the village, Alhaji Shettima Maina, said “[The insurgents] took all boys aged 13 and over… and all girls aged 11 and more. According to our information, 30 young people were abducted in the last two days.”
The abductions were accompanied by a series of violent attacks on several towns which started Thursday evening and went on until Saturday evening. Maina said at least 17 people were killed in the attacks.
The government have said they will continue to negotiate with Boko Haram, and that they are still hopeful that the Chibok girls will be released. Nigeria’s ‘This Day’ newspaper reports that Boko Haram has delivered on a promise to Cameroon, releasing 27 Cameroonian and Chinese nationals on 11 October, after capturing them in separate raids in May and July.
“Since it delivered on its promise to Cameroon, we expect Boko Haram to deliver on the release of the Chibok girls and the cessation of hostilities in north-eastern Nigeria,” Government negotiator Hassan Tukur said. “It is difficult to have a ceasefire in an organisation that has many members and units.”
However, many are unsure about the negotiations; Boko Haram have not made any announcements about a ceasefire. The militant group are supposedly represented at talks with the government by a spokesman called Danladi Ahmadu, but a journalist who has good contacts with Boko Haram, claims he is an imposter.
There have been several rounds of negotiations with factions within Boko Haram in the past, but these have been unsuccessful due to the divisions within the group and the different agendas of various factions. The Nigerian military and government have also been known to release statements prematurely, including one report which said almost all the Chibok girls were free.
Until the Chibok girls are reunited with their families, let’s keep praying for their safe return and for peace in Nigeria.
Source: BBC; This Day; Open Doors
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