Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Federal Government have agreed to a ceasefire.
Chief of Defense Staff Alex Badeh issued an order Friday, telling all
service chiefs “to comply with the ceasefire agreement between Nigeria
and Boko Haram in all theaters of operations.”
Earlier, Ahmadu and a close advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan,
Ambassador Hassan Tukur, told VOA that the sides were holding talks in
Saudi Arabia, aided Chadian President Idriss Deby and high-level
officials from Cameroon.
Those talks also focused on the release more than 200 girls abducted
by Boko Haram six months ago. There was no immediate word on the fate
of the girls.
Ahmadu, who said he is at a location on the Nigerian-Chadian border, said the girls are “in good condition and unharmed.”
On April 14, dozens of Boko Haram fighters stormed a secondary school
in the remote northeastern village of Chibok, kidnapping around 270
girls. Fifty-seven managed to escape.
Boko Haram leader “Abubakar Shekau” later threatened to sell the
remainder as slave brides, vowing they would not be released until
militant prisoners were freed from jail.
Ahmadu would not elaborate on the conditions under which the girls
would be freed. The Saudi government is not involved in the
Nigerian President Jonathan has been criticized at home and abroad
for his slow response to the kidnapping and for the inability of
Nigerian troops to quell the violence by the militants, seen as the
biggest security threat to Africa’s top economy and leading energy
Boko Haram has said it is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.
The group has launched scores of attacks in the past five years,
targeting markets, bus stations, government facilities, churches and
even mosques. Militants recently took over some towns in the northeast
for what the group’s leader said would be an Islamic caliphate.
The Nigerian military says the man who appeared in Boko Haram videos
as Abubakar Shekau was actually an impostor, and that the real Shekau
was killed several years ago.
It says the impostor was killed last month during a battle in the
town of Konduga. A new video of the man appeared a few days later but
the military has stood by its assertion that the Boko Haram leader is