FG May Swap Soft Boko Haram Detainees for Abducted Girls
As part of the ongoing backdoor talks with Boko Haram, the Federal Government may be disposed to the release of people described as soft detainees of the sect to secure freedom for the more than 200 school girls abducted by the group last month.
The soft detainees are the wives and children of Boko Haram members in various facilities nationwide.
The government is not keen on outright swap of the girls with Boko Haram members in detention, The Nation gathered yeterday.
The Presidential Fact-Finding Committee on the girls’ abduction yesterday in Maiduguri met with leaders of the Chibok community.
A top source said last night that the talks are progressing well with feedback from both sides.
“The government may consider the release of only soft detainees in line with international rules of engagement,” said the source.
It added that the soft detainees are wives and children of Boko Haram members detained by the Federal Government.
“They are vulnerable people for whom the rules of engagement allow some human rights waivers,” the source added.
It described the gesture as a continuation of a similar approval by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013.
Responding to a question, the source added: “It is still at the level of contemplation. But the talks are ongoing.
“Certainly, there will be no outright swapping of the girls with Boko Haram members who are in detention.”
The source said the government was looking at this option because most Nigerians want the girls back alive.”
Asked about the stage of the rescue operation for the girls, the source added: “Up till now, it is still at the level of intelligence gathering, to locate where they are kept.
“Once the area or camp is located, it will not take less than six hours to liberate the girls.
“We have got intelligence report that most of these girls are alive but we are trying our best to locate the exact spot of the camp or camps where they are held hostage.”
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