Nigeria army releases 244 who denounced Boko Haram

2018-01-16 21:39
Boko Haram and other terrorist groups seem like good options to young men in need of work.

Boko Haram and other terrorist groups seem like good options to young men in need of work.

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

Maiduguri - Nigeria's army released 244 Boko Haram suspects who have denounced their membership in the deadly extremist group, Nigerian army officials said on Tuesday.

Those released on Monday included 118 adult males, 56 women, 19 teens and 51 children, according to operation commander Major General Rogers Nicholas, who said they were freed after participating in a de-radicalisation program.

One of the released females said she was accused of being a cook for Boko Haram and was held by Nigerian authorities for about a year.

Nigeria is trying to show it is making progress against the extremist group that has killed more than 20 000 people during its eight-year insurgency. Nigeria has arrested thousands of suspected Boko Haram members in recent years and is holding them in overcrowded military detention facilities.

Human rights groups say most of those detained have been picked up at random and without reasonable suspicion, including women and children. Former detainees have described malnutrition, mistreatment and deaths in the facilities.

The public release on Monday of the ex-Boko Haram suspects at the military barracks in Maiduguri was done to mark Nigeria's Armed Forces Remembrance Day. Young men were paraded at the event in Maiduguri, telling the state governor they have turned a new leaf and are ready to help provide the government with information.

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima commended the military its ongoing efforts against Boko Haram.

Nigeria's government set up a de-radicalisation program in 2016 for arrested Boko Haram fighters who wanted to quit the group. The programme houses ex-Boko Haram insurgents in a military-controlled facility where they participate in exercises to rehabilitate them. They are granted amnesty if they denounce Boko Haram's radical ideologies.

Last year more than 800 Boko Haram fighters participated in the de-radicalisation programme under the Safe Corridor Initiative, said Nigeria's defense chief General Gabriel Olonisakin.

The freedom granted to the 244 people came the same day Boko Haram's main leader, Abubakar Shekau, released a video in which he claimed none of the Chibok girls still held by Boko Haram would ever be found. He said his group last year "willingly" released 107 schoolgirls who refused to accept his creed, but the estimated 100 who remain are pleased to stay with Boko Haram.

He also mocked the parents of the remaining missing girls, saying they should consider his members as their sons-in-law because the girls are "happily" married to Boko Haram fighters.

The video purportedly showed some of the girls telling their parents to join them in their new faith because "our father Abubakar Shekau has married us off to our husbands and he also ensures that we are well taken care of."

The clip also showed images of military vehicles, armored tanks and a helicopter that Shekau claimed his men had destroyed during a shootout last week.

Boko Haram, Nigeria's homegrown extreme Islamic militia, wants to set aside the country's constitution and replace it with Shariah law. Since launching its violent campaign in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced millions and staged attacks in neighbouring countries participating in a military operation against it.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com 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

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.