Friday, 5 April 2013

# Africa News # LWN

Nigerian President: Goodluck Jonathan to grant Boko Haram Amnesty

               A burnt police patrol pick-up truck remains abandoned on the side of a deserted road in Damaturu in Nigeria  on 7 November 2011 after having been struck by a bomb
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a panel to look into the possibility of granting an amnesty to the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The move came after religious and political leaders said the military approach did not solve the violence.

Mr Jonathan previously rejected any amnesty offer, saying the rebels were "ghosts" whose demands were not known.

Hundreds of people have been killed since Boko Haram fighters stepped up their campaign in recent years.

The new panel will include senior military representatives and has two weeks to come up with its recommendations, according to unnamed presidential sources.

The board is tasked with considering the feasibility of granting an amnesty to Boko Haram members, and recommending modalities for implementing such a step.

Although attacks have lessened in the past year, there is no evidence to suggest that the military effort will lead to lasting peace.

In 2009, the then Nigerian President, Musa Yar Adua, granted an amnesty to thousands of militants, wreaking havoc in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

The violence fell dramatically but there are worrying warnings of further unrest in the Delta.

Even if Mr Jonathan grants Boko Haram an amnesty,do you think putting it into place will be easy?

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