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.

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.


58 women and children wit Boko Haram ties released

01 June 2013, 07:07

Maiduguri - Nigeria's military released 58 women and children suspected of having links with Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram to local governments on Friday, who will in turn return them to their homes in a gesture meant to draw moderates into peace talks.

President Goodluck Jonathan is launching his biggest offensive yet to oust Islamist insurgents seen as the main threat to Africa's top oil producer from their strongholds in the northeast. But he says he also wants to pursue a peaceful resolution with fighters willing to surrender.

"The detainees will be rehabilitated and integrated into the society," Yobe State Attorney General Ahmed Mustapha Goniri said while receiving 38 women and children from the military.

Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima, one of many urging the government to release low-risk detainees as a good-will gesture, said a further six women and 14 young men were handed over to him on Friday.

"This marks a milestone in our quest for peace and to restore normalcy," he said.

Jonathan ordered the release of the detainees and has offered amnesty to any Boko Haram's members who surrender on the advice of a peace resolution committee he set up in April.

Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau, who has dismissed peace talks and says his fighters are repelling the offensive, has repeatedly demanded that the government release the wives and children of its members who were being held in detention.

It was not clear how many of the released women were wives of Boko Haram fighters or were just accused of helping the sect.

While critics have welcomed an alternative approach to ending the violence, security experts believe the most hardened Boko Haram cells will never surrender and the longer fighting continues the more civilians will lose faith in any peace offer.

Jonathan declared a state of emergency on May 14 in the three northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, which have been the worst hit by Boko Haram's four-year insurgency that has killed more than 3000 people and left remote regions under the insurgents' control.

Thousands of extra troops were sent to the region and Boko Haram camps were hit with air strikes. The military has since claimed the insurgency has been halted.

The intervention followed a surge in violence by Boko Haram, which wants to establish an Islamic state in its northeast heartland, where it launched an uprising in 2009.

Islamist groups like Boko Haram and the al Qaeda linked Ansaru have become the biggest risk to stability in Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer and second largest economy.

Nigeria had been criticised by human rights groups for the detention of women and children without any formal charges.

Nigerian soldiers have also been accused of carrying out extra-judicial killings, torturing suspects and causing mass civilian casualties during offensives.

The army denies it commits rights abuses and says civilians die in crossfire.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

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

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...