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Sunday, 26 March 2023

Chief Of Defence Staff says 51,828 Boko haram fighters surrender in 18 months

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor on Saturday, disclosed that no fewer than 51,828 Boko haram fighters and their family members surrendered to the Federal Government between July 2021 and May 2022.

He stated this while delivering a lecture titled “National Defence Policy and Transitional Justice Approach in the War Against Insurgency in Nigeria”, at the 7th Founders’ Day of the Edo State University, Uzairue in Etsako West local government area.

Besides, the military boss said that 1,543 repentant terrorists have so far graduated from Mallam Sidi camp, in Gombe State between 2016 and 2022, while 1,935 have been released from the camp in Bulumkutu, Maiduguri.

He said Operation Safe Corridor as a transitional justice approach was created similar to the Niger Delta Amnesty programme launched by the Federal Government in 2009 which involved the setting up of special facilities where repentant terrorists who surrendered their arms can be rehabilitated.

Irabor said that “between July 2021 to May 2022 alone, no fewer than 51,828 Boko haram and their family members have surrendered, out of which 13,360 are fighters.

“The programme (Operation Safe Corridor) offers numerous opportunities and participants are scheduled for vocational training to ease their reintegration into society”, he emphasized.

Gen. Irabor, however, said despite the modest successes recorded by operation safe corridor in the fight against crime, the programme still faces a lot of challenges.

He listed some of challenges including the lack of specialised training experts and inadequate physical structure,  inadequate collaboration and coordination, absence of appropriate legislation on reintegration, low agency and international participation as well as ineffective monitoring system.

As a way forward, the CDS suggested a “train-the-trainers programme and establishment of special fund for  Deradicalisation, Reintegration and Reorientation (DRR), the establishment of a national commission for DRR, enacting of a DRR Act, building of strategic partnerships and adoption of a whole-of-society approach to monitoring.”

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