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.


Talks with Boko Haram reopened, government not involved

10 July 2015, 20:49

Abuja - Fresh negotiations have started with Boko Haram militants for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last year but the government is not currently involved in the talks, a human rights activist said on Friday.

Fred Eno, who was involved in negotiations for the release of the Chibok girls last year but not the current talks, said others had resumed contact with the Islamist group independently of the government. He did not say who they were.

Also read: Nigerians abroad mull Boko Haram Appeal Fund for reconstruction of North East

"Preliminary contacts were made with the insurgents by those involved in the previous negotiations, with a view to reviving the deal we struck last time," Eno said. "They (Boko Haram) have responded in the affirmative and so various channels are being explored."

He did not say when the approach had been made to Boko Haram or give details of the previous deal, but said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, elected earlier this year on pledges to quash the insurgency, was not involved.

"There are no formal negotiations going on now between the current government and the insurgents for the release of the girls as such," Eno said.

A spokesman for the presidency said it had no knowledge of the talks and was not trying to reach out to Boko Haram although it has previously said it was not averse to negotiation.

Boko Haram gained global notoriety in 2014 after it kidnapped the schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in Borno state, the heartland of its campaign to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria's northeast.

Sustained lobbying by campaign group Bring Back Our Girls has made the mass abduction a symbol of the devastation wrought by the insurgency, which has seen thousands of other women and children taken.

Efforts to end the violence and to secure the girls' release have repeatedly failed, including a 2014 deal fostered by Chad.

"When we negotiated with the insurgents we made it clear then that the release of the Chibok girls was only the beginning of a process that would lead to a complete end of hostilities," Eno added, referring to last year's agreement.

Buhari, who said at his inauguration in May that victory could not be claimed until the Chibok girls were freed, is building up a base in Chad's capital N'Djamena out of which regional forces can deploy and attack the militants.

He met with the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners this week.

After taking swathes of territory last year, Boko Haram militants were pushed back into their Sambisa forest stronghold by Nigerian and regional forces but have since reverted to guerrilla tactics, hitting towns outside Borno in recent weeks.

- 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...