Amnesty plan in the works?
Back in June when we last covered Boko Haram, the group was recovering from a series of losses with a new propaganda push aimed at dispelling rumors about the insurgency’s slow implosion. Boko Haram rallied soon after, and surged once again outside of Nigeria and into neighboring countries, resuming their campaign of terror.
The American Foreign Press reports that earlier this week the terror group abducted 135 people and killed 8 during a village raid in northern Cameroon. The move into Cameroon from the group’s base territory in northeastern Nigeria is part of a surge in the group’s terror activity in neighboring countries.
More from AFP:
The insurgents also shot dead nine fishermen in a village near the shores of Lake Chad in northeastern Nigeria, amid heightened violence region-wide since Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s was sworn in in May.
More than 800 people have been killed in just two months in a surge of Boko Haram attacks, which began after Buhari took office on a pledge to defeat the militants.
Cameroon, which is part of a regional force fighting the militants, has been the target of some of the deadly assaults.
The latest raid took place before dawn on Tuesday in the village of Chakamari in a region of Cameroon known as the Extreme North.
It came as Guinea offered help in the regional fight against Boko Haram, whose bloody insurgency in Nigeria has increasingly spread to neighbouring states.
“Men from Boko Haram attacked our neighbours in the village of Chakamari overnight Monday-Tuesday. They killed eight people, two women and six men,” a member of a vigilante group in a neighbouring village told AFP on Wednesday.
Thankfully, earlier this month the Nigerian military managed to rescue 178 people from a Boko Haram stronghold in Borno state. Most of those rescued were women and children, but officials have not confirmed that any of those rescued were among the “Chibok girls” kidnapped back in April of 2014. Those 200 girls have yet to be found, and the new Nigerian government has encouraged Nigerians to accept that the girls are most likely dead, or beyond help.
The #BringBackOurGirls movement, which started as an effort to raise awareness about the abductions, has all but disappeared. Use of the hashtag on various social media platforms fizzled last year (Legal Insurrection covered that failure of hashtag diplomacy here) after multiple efforts to locate the girls failed. A general search for the hashtag on the analytics-based search engine Topsy shows that over the past month mentions of the Chibok girls have barely scratched above the 1K mark.
Some women in Congress have made the attempt to use the hashtag campaign as a way to keep Nigeria’s new government accountable, but so far those efforts have produced few results online.
Today, multiple reports surfaced that recently elected President Muhammadu Buhari approved amnesty for the terror group in exchange for a cease fire, causing an uproar amongst those who have been targeted by Boko’s violence.
The amnesty plan is allegedly already taking shape, although the militant group has not yet accepted the terms of the agreement and in the past its members have rejected laying down their arms in exchange for amnesty. “I can authoritatively tell you that the issue has gone beyond a plan, President Buhari has concluded on the issue, granted approvals and it will be announced soon,” the source said.
During his presidential campaign earlier this year, Buhari, a former military general who vowed to defeat the terrorist group, said he would not engage the group in negotiations or offer amnesty. He recently lightened his stance, saying that he would be willing to negotiate if members of the organization — considered a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and Nigeria — were willing to consider a ceasefire, Breaking Times reported.
Adding to the confusion is the conspicuous absence of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau who disappeared in March after pledging loyalty to ISIS. Shekau has disappeared before—ostensibly under the guise of having been murdered by various military outfits—but has always resurfaced. Recent propaganda released by the group, however, features an unidentified speaker, and makes no mention of Shekau or his whereabouts.DONATE
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