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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Negotiator says FG swapped 5 Boko Haram commanders with Chibok Girls



Trending gist as A negotiator who took part in talks to free the 82 Chibok ​girls has disclosed that the Federal Government swapped five Boko Haram ​commanders​.​
He said there was no need to panic over the swap of the girls with Boko Haram commanders because international convention had been respected.

Report revealed through the source​ assured that ​commanders would not pose any threat to national security considering the level of discussions going on among stakeholders ​to secure more abducted persons​ and also end the nearly eight-year insurgency.
“One positive aspect of it is that even in the midst of war, if
you are talking, that is what people like because you will end up having a peace deal, this is the issue of ‘carrot and stick’ and there is certainty​’, the negotiator told Daily Trust under name protection.
“The good aspect of this government is that despite the war, despite the fact that the military had subdued this thing, mediation is ongoing and not long after this, you will begin to hear of rehabilitation and reintegration and other components of peace building.​
“Less than half a dozen insurgents were released and this is an unprecedented feat because we got 82 girls and negotiation is ongoing for the release of more very soon”,.
Asked how the Swiss Government, the Red Cross and the Nigerian government managed to establish talks with the insurgents, he said, “Is a process that started long ago and culminated in the victory on Saturday. We built confidence over the years especially when we succeeded in the first one (21 girls released last year).
“They (Boko Haram) were able to identify their own grudges because Shekau had been saying over the years that they wanted their members that are in prison in Nigeria to be swapped with the Chibok girls.
“So, the government agrees, in fact it offered less than a dozen of the prison​er​s and we were able to convince them (Boko Haram) to release 82 of the Chibok girls. They gave several names of their members to be released for the exchange but we ended up taking those that we took there,” he said.
On how the negotiators felt on coming face to face with the deadly Boko Haram commanders for the exchange, he said, “I have the firm belief that it is only when (someone’s time) is due that one would die; and somebody must take the risk and they did.
“And secondly, already trust has been built and mediation does not start and end in one day; this thing started long ago just like what happened in Rwanda that brought lasting peace, and the peace and reconciliation committee in South Africa; these are some of the key element​s. I​have the belief that I would not die until my appointed time that is why I went.

“I can assure that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has laid the foundation for lasting solution to the Boko Haram insurgency by opening the doors of conversation. This is not new, it is an acceptable norm all over the world,” he added.

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