Release of Chibok girls imminent —Chadian negotiator •Nigeria, Boko Haram ‘agree to a series of points’

Posted by News Express | 25 October 2014 | 3,775 times

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A Chadian official says he expects Nigeria’s deal with militant group Boko Haram to free more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls will go through, despite the apparent breakdown of a cease-fire.

Reuters news agency says Moussa Mahamat Dago, the number-two official in Chad’s Foreign Ministry, says Nigeria and Boko Haram have verbally agreed to a series of points, including the release of the schoolgirls and of jailed Boko Haram fighters.

Dago says the sides have not yet agreed on the names and number of Boko Haram fighters to be released, but that he still expects the girls to be freed. No estimate of when that could happen is available.

Chad has been involved in talks between Nigeria and Boko Haram, first reported last week by VOA’s Hausa Service.

Dago told Reuters it appears some Boko Haram factions are refusing to abide by the deal with Nigeria. The agreement between the two sides was brokered, Dago said, at meetings in Chad on September 14 and 30.

Dago also said the Boko Haram members who negotiated with the Nigerian Government did so in good faith, and that he is confident they were authorised to speak on behalf of Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.

The status of Shekau remains unclear. The Nigerian military says the real Shekau was killed years ago, and that the bearded man seen in recent Boko Haram videos is an impostor who was also killed in a battle last month.  But a new video featuring the bearded man appeared after that battle.

Danladi Ahmadu, who describes himself as the secretary-general of Boko Haram, told VOA on Thursday that Nigerian and Boko Haram representatives are scheduled to meet on Monday in Chad’s capital, N’djamena, under the “leadership” of Chadian President Idriss Deby.

​Boko Haram has fought the Nigerian government since 2009, with the stated goal of establishing a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria.  Bombings, gun attacks, and raids on towns and villages have resulted in thousands of deaths and promped hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

The kidnapping of the Chibok girls on April 14 from a school in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state sparked outrage around the world, as well as intense pressure on the Nigerian Government to secure the girls’ release.

•Photo shows the abducted Chibok schoolgirls as appeared in a Boko Haram video.

Source: News Express

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