AFRICA/NIGERIA - There has not been any negotiation so far with the "real" Boko Haram

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Boko Haram is divided into several groups, and those who say they negotiate in its name is not the main component", says Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, Director of the Social Communications Office of the Archdiocese of Abuja, the federal capital of Nigeria.
In recent weeks announcements by the government of a possible truce with Boko Haram, the Islamist sect that is rampant in some northern States of Nigeria have multiplied. The agreements consider, among other things, the release of hundreds of girls kidnapped in recent months. In fact, few girls have been released or managed to escape so far while they were on their way to collect firewood. In fact, kidnappings have continued just like armed clashes.
"Some people say that some Boko Haram 'representatives' that have come forward in recent times, are actually scammers who try to get money from the government", explains Fr. Patrick. "In addition, the only statements come from the government, while Boko Haram is silent. The first is under pressure to find the kidnapped girls and continues to make announcements of cease-fires and releases of hostages but all this does not correspond to reality", continues the priest.
"The situation of the kidnapped girls is also much more complicated than you think", emphazises Fr. Patrick. "The girls have in fact been forced into 'marriage' with guerrillas of Boko Haram. It is therefore difficult to free them by force, because the young girls are not gathered together in one military camp, but are scattered in many areas with the guerrillas. To free them with a negotiation is also difficult, because they have now become the wives of members of Boko Haram". "But that does not mean it is impossible to free them, but the path to follow is more difficult than one thinks" says the priest. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/10/2014)