Posted by Rafiu Ajakaye | 27 May 2017 | 1,786 times
Repentant Boko Haram members must not be granted “unconditional amnesty” under whatever guise, a report on post-insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast said Friday, warning that doing so could precipitate bigger violence in the future.
Titled “Prospect for transitional justice initiative in the Northeast,” the report was prepared by West Africa-based Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) following interviews with victims of the seven-year insurgency, former militants, and officials across the violence-ridden region.
“The need for accountability cannot be overemphasised in the post-insurgency period, bearing in mind that deadly atrocities that took place at the height of the insurgency. The fact that some sporadic attacks are still taking place in some communities indicates that blanket amnesty is not a viable option for perpetrators,” according to the 16-page report.
The report said while reintegrating former militants is an important step in building peace in the region, various actors must account for their roles “through a mechanism that emphasises genuine repentance, atonement, and forgiveness”.
It said perpetrators of rights abuses, such as rape, abduction, and arbitrary killings, include Boko Haram militants as well as members of government security agencies and public-funded militias.
The research findings come as authorities continue to urge militants to drop their arms in exchange for the government opening “safe corridors” for fighters willing to renounce violence and return to normal life.
The report found that up to 50 percent of interviewed victims of Boko Haram violence object to any settlement of “repentant” militants in their communities until probably after 25 years and amid stringent conditions.
The report added, however, that 80 percent of the victims are lenient towards former wives and children of former militants and teenagers forcefully conscripted into the insurgency.
The report also cautioned the government against prioritising repentant militants over victims of their violence as doing so promises to boomerang in the future. (Anadolu Agency)
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