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Chibok Girls: Buhari invites UN as Negotiator

by Elizabeth Archibong & Kosiso Ugwuede

September 22, 2016 | 9:55 am
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President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that the government would welcome United Nations representatives as intermediaries in any talks with Boko Haram regarding the release of the kidnapped Chibok school girls.
President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that the government would welcome United Nations representatives as intermediaries in any talks with Boko Haram regarding the release of the kidnapped Chibok school girls.

Buhari was speaking with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at a meeting on sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly, in New York.

In a speech presented at the assembly, President Buhari had reaffirmed that a lot of progress had been made in the nations resolve to defeat the militant group stating that their operations had been reduced to the use of improvised explosive devices against soft targets.

He said with the help of international bodies and collaboration between the affected neighbouring countries, the Boko Haram scourge and indeed terrorism as a whole, could be brought to an end.

Speaking about ongoing plans to negotiate the release of the girls, he said the challenge the government was facing was finding bona fide leaders of the sect to discuss with.

“The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders,” he said.

However he has reiterated that ”we should not be distracted in our collective resolve to beat back terrorism in all its forms”.
“The challenge is in getting credible and bona fide leadership of Boko Haram to discuss with… The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders. We will welcome intermediaries such as UN outfits, to step in” statement by Presidential Media Aide, Femi Adesina after the closed meeting in New York, quoted the President to have said.
The Boko Haram sect is still holding over 200 of the 276 school girls abducted in April 2014 from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State. Some of the girls had escaped while 215 remain missing. In May this year, Amina Ali, was rescued was rescued by Nigerian security forces
The President thanked Ki-moon for the support of the global body extended to Nigeria, which has enabled the country surmount many of her challenges.
Back in Nigeria, the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed during a press conference, the week before, said the President had commenced negotiations for the release of the girls shortly after coming into power. However, after approving the release of some of the fighters as part of demands by sect, government realized there were cracks in the group and so the negotiations had broken down. The sect had recently released a video with demands for the release of some of its fighters in confinement in exchange of the girls
Meanwhile, parents of the abducted girls have continued to pressure the government to accept the conditions given by the group to ensure the release of the girls.
In his response, the UN scribe congratulated Buhari on the anti-corruption war in Nigeria saying: “You are highly respected by world leaders, including myself. Your persona has given your country a positive image.”
According to Adesina, Ki-moon said the UN recognized the achievements of the Buhari administration against Boko Haram, urging that human rights be upheld always, to prevent a repeat of the scenario being witnessed in Syria.
Ban Ki-moon also thanked the Nigerian leader for his commitment to issues on climate change, adding that the government should “own the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” for the good of its citizens.

Buhari was speaking with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at a meeting on sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly, in New York.

In a speech presented at the assembly, President Buhari had reaffirmed that a lot of progress had been made in the nations resolve to defeat the militant group stating that their operations had been reduced to the use of improvised explosive devices against soft targets.

He said with the help of international bodies and collaboration between the affected neighbouring countries, the Boko Haram scourge and indeed terrorism as a whole, could be brought to an end.

Speaking about ongoing plans to negotiate the release of the girls, he said the challenge the government was facing was finding bona fide leaders of the sect to discuss with.

“The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders,” he said.

However he has reiterated that ”we should not be distracted in our collective resolve to beat back terrorism in all its forms”.

 

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by Elizabeth Archibong & Kosiso Ugwuede

September 22, 2016 | 9:55 am
12893  |   93   |   0  |   Start Conversation

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