Nigeria truce shaky

2014-10-22 20:10
A screengrab from a video released by Boko Haram shows some of the kidnapped girls. (File, AFP)

A screengrab from a video released by Boko Haram shows some of the kidnapped girls. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Maiduguri - Days after Nigeria's military raised hopes with the announcement that Islamic extremists had agreed to a cease-fire, Boko Haram still is fighting and there is no word on the fate of 219 schoolgirls held hostage for six months.

Officials had said talks would resume in neighbouring Chad this week, but there was no confirmation that those negotiations had resumed by Wednesday.

The official silence raises many questions, especially since Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau has not confirmed that a truce has been agreed.

Relatives of the girls abducted from a boarding school in northeastern Chibok town said they are confused but trying to be hopeful.

"Things are still sketchy with lots of holes and varying statements," Allen Manasseh, a brother of one of the missing schoolgirls, told The Associated Press by telephone. Manasseh said he relentlessly scours the news headlines to find out when his sister, Maryam, may return home.

Despite the cease-fire announced by the military on Friday, the Islamic insurgents have attacked two villages and a town in the northeast and raised their flag in a fourth village.

People who escaped this week from Bama, a town in a part of northeastern Nigeria where Boko Haram has declared an Islamic caliphate, say hundreds of residents are being detained for allegedly breaking the group's strict version of Shari'ah law.

Residents who got out of Bama said so many people have been detained by Boko Haram that the local jail is overcrowded and houses are being used as makeshift prisons. Many young men have been forced to join Boko Haram, and those who refuse are killed, said those who ran away.

Food shortage

People are jailed after brief "trials" for infringements like smoking cigarettes, said Amina Bukar, a middle-aged woman who said she hiked through the bush for five days before reaching Maiduguri, the Borno state capital 75km away.

Food is running short since shops have been looted by Boko Haram, said Bukar. "Water also is very scarce, sometimes you line up [at the communal tap] for 24 hours," she said.

In Nigeria's capital, Abuja, dozens of activists continue a daily protest ritual at Unity Fountain, using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls to demand that the government and military ensure the release of the students.

Campaigner Aisha Yesufu said they had been told the girls would be freed on Monday, but it didn't happen. "The government spokesperson came out and said that they never said Monday, that they are saying this week. We are still watching. We are extremely anxious," she told the AP.

Some 276 girls and young women writing science examinations were kidnapped from a government boarding school in Chibok in the early hours of 15 April. Dozens escaped by themselves in the first couple of days but some 219 remain missing.

Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands forced from their homes in the 5-year uprising to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation of some 160 million people divided almost equally between Muslims and Christians.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.