Warning over release of Boko Haram prisoners in “ceasefire”
from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – AN international human rights group warned of the ramifications releasing jailed Boko Haram insurgents as part of a reported ceasefire agreement with the government.
It was reported this past weekend Boko Haram has demanded that at least some of its militants be released from Nigerian prisons as part of the deal that would lead to the release of the more than 200 schoolgirls sect members kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State, in April.
“This is arguably a serious request to make of any government,” Impunity Watch said in a statement.
“This would mean the release of militants that are classified as terrorists, as Boko Haram has been labelled a terrorist group by several states, including the United States, Japan, Great Britain, and the European Union.
“The release of these prisoners could be dangerous at best, and strengthen the power of Boko Haram, making it easier for the group to begin establishing Sharia law enclaves within Nigeria, with the ultimate goal of nationally implemented Islamic law.”
Nonetheless, the organisation said alternatively, it could offer Nigeria a
chance to engage Boko Haram in a way that reduces violence and establishes a relationship that recognizes inter-party agreements.
“The girls are to be released in increments, but until the substantive
portions of the agreement come to fruition, there is no certainty in
either party upholding the deal,” the group added.
The insurgency perpetratedby Boko Haram has killed thousands and displaced millions over the past five years.
– CAJ News
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