Nigeria: An Amnesty for Boko Haram?

In June 2009, the Nigerian government offered an amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta. The program’s merits and results remain a subject of debate today. Now the amnesty debate will include another Nigerian conflict zone: the Northeast, where attacks by the Islamist rebel group Boko Haram have claimed the lives of politicians, Muslim leaders, and security forces.

The governor-elect of Borno State, Boko Haram’s headquarters, is willing to offer the Islamists amnesty:

They have taken up arms against the state and they are blamed for a series of killings which are treasonable offences,” Kashim Shettima, elected governor of Borno state last month and due to take office May 29, told AFP.

“But my government will offer them amnesty as long as they lay down their arms and embrace peace.”

A man claiming to be a sect spokesman has however ruled out an amnesty deal.

That Shettima is talking about an amnesty indicates that he believes force alone cannot crush Boko Haram. Shettima is also likely concerned that his own life is at risk; in January, Boko Haram assassinated the gubernatorial candidate of his party. A cease-fire could allow for time and space to address the group’s grievances, and could prevent some violence. Yet if Boko Haram is not willing to accept the offer, where will that leave Shettima? And where does the federal government stand on the deal?


9 thoughts on “Nigeria: An Amnesty for Boko Haram?

  1. I doubt they’d be giving these folks amnesty if they felt they could catch them, to be honest. Same goes w/ the Niger Delta militants given amnesty. Plus, I’m not sure this is a good deterrent for other militant groups (and there are some more out there).

    This is all a sad testament to how weak our institutions still are.

  2. Pingback: Amnesty International: Revoltele din lumea musulmană marchează începutul unei schimbări istorice |

  3. Pingback: Nigeria: Boko Haram Attacks Continue Despite Amnesty Offer « Sahel Blog

  4. Personally speaking all these will not help our country to grow, its not a good example for the coming generation. Its simply means dt anyone can be a militant and after several killings of innocent people will be granted amnesty. And if our government can empower the militants and graduates are left alone to roam about the streets then the graduates can become a militant so dt all can empowered.

  5. Pingback: Nigeria: Federal Government Announces Dialogue with Boko Haram « Sahel Blog

  6. Pingback: Nigerian government broaches idea of dialogue with Islamist Boko Haram | Aran Orin

  7. Pingback: Nigerian government broaches idea of dialogue with Islamist Boko Haram | Rivers State News

  8. Pingback: Was Nigeria’s government hoodwinked over Boko Haram ‘truce’? | EXCLUSIVE NAIJA

  9. Pingback: Panafricanvisions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s