Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh has announced that Nigeria has agreed a ceasefire with Boko Haram and that Boko Haram will release over 200 schoolgirls it kidnapped over 6 months ago.
“A ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (Boko Haram).”
The negotiations took place in neighbouring Chad, mediated by that country’s President Idriss Deby, he said. “Boko Haram issued the ceasefire as a result of the discussions we have been having with them,” said Mr Tukur. “They have agreed to release the Chibok girls”.
Interview with the new Emir of Kano Muhammed Sanusi II (AKA Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) about the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria.
Key points made by Sanusi:
- Islam “preaches education for all adherents”.
- Marrying young Muslim girls off at a young age is actually a cultural (not Islamic) practice “that is not consistent with the teachings of the (Muslim) religion)”.
- Poverty level in northern Nigeria provides a fertile breeding ground for militancy. Says the same thing happened in the Niger Delta.
- Boko Haram insurgency must be tackled via an economic “Marshall Plan” for northern Nigeria.
- Says insurgency calmed down in Kano because of investment in infrastructure there.
- “As long as people as gainfully employed they are not likely to jump into the bandwagon of insurgency”.
Click the link below for an excellent interactive map and timeline/summaries (produced by Al-Jazeera) of Boko Haram attacks going back to 2009 when President Yar’Adua was still in power. http://webapps.aljazeera.net/aje/custom/2014/bokoharamtimeline/index.html
Audio interview with journalist Alex Perry who was researched and written about Boko Haram for a long time. Perry alleges that there is no coherent plan to Boko Haram’s attacks, and that it is just violence for the sake of it.
Perry saw a gruesome video of Boko Haram members beheading a hostage and gives his analysis of the groups’s actions.
Good reports on how Boko Haram has infiltrated into Nigeria’s neighbour Cameroon. Boko Haram allegedly take advantage of the huge border between Nigeria and Cameroon to go backwards and forwards between both countries to recruit members and stage attacks.
Locals in Cameroon claim that Boko Haram members quickly bury their dead who are killed in attacks to prevent them from being identified.
One of the most tragic ironies is that thousands of Nigerians have fled from Nigeria into its poorer, smaller, less resourced neighbour Cameroon.
In this interview a man who identified himself as a spiritual leader in Boko Haram said the Chibok girls will not be released until the Nigerian government releases all detained Boko Haram members. He claimed the girls are physically well, being well fed, and that Boko Haram do not differently treat Muslim and Christian girls. He claimed the girls “don’t have any problem”.
This is a video clip of Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh where he said the military knows where the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls are being held. Badeh was addressing a live crowd of demonstrators in Abuja. Excerpts from what he said:
“The good for the girls is we know where they are but we cannot tell you. We cannot come and tell you military secrets here. Just leave us alone – we are working. We will get the girls back…We have Al Qaida in west Africa. I believe it 100%… People from outside Nigeria are in this war. They are fighting us. They wants to destablise our country, and some people in this country are standing with the forces of darkness. No! We must salvage our country.”
CBS television interview with a Boko Haram member in Abuja who called himself “Saleh Abubakar”. He claims the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls “willingly” converted to Islam, and that more schoolgirls will be abducted.
Survivors of Boko Haram attacks give terrifying testimony of their ordeal. One of them is Adamu Habila, who survived a Boko Haram attack and being shot in the head. Adamu was shot for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.
The second survivor is 15 year old Deborah Peter from Chibok. She survived a Boko Haram attack on her home in Chibok. Her father (a pastor) and brother were attacked in front of her in her home.
The Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction and forced conversions to Islam are not new. Boko Haram has been kidnapping young women and girls as “slave brides” for some time and forcing them to convert to Islam. Thus the “conversion video” that Boko Haram released last week should be seen as part of its normal modus operandi rather than a new tactic.