Nigeria claims deal with Boko Haram on truce and seized girls

Nigeria’s military and presidency on Friday claimed to have reached a deal with Boko Haram militants on a ceasefire and the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 19 Oct 2014, 12:53 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:47 AM

“A ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (Boko Haram),” Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh said.

“I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field.”

Separately, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Principal Secretary Hassan Tukur said that an agreement to end hostilities had been reached following talks, as well as the release of 219 girls held captive since April.

Tukur said that he had represented the government at two meetings with the rebels in neighbouring Chad mediated by that country’s President Idriss Deby. “Boko Haram issued the ceasefire as a result of the discussions we have been having with them,” said Tukur, adding that the announcement was made “last night”, on Thursday.

“They have agreed to release the Chibok girls,” he continued, referring to the 219 teenage girls held hostage after their April 14 kidnapping from a secondary school in Chibok, northeast Nigeria.

But questions surrounded the purported deal, given that Jonathan is expected to declare his re-election bid and positive news about the hostages and violence could give him a political boost.

There was also uncertainty about the identity of Danladi Ahmadu, who was said by Tukur to be Boko Haram’s representative at the talks and who gave a radio interview broadcast on Friday morning.



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