28 March 2016

Nigeria: Northern Women Seek Amnesty for Boko Haram Conscripts

A group of women from the northern part of the country, yesterday, asked the Federal Government to grant amnesty to all Boko Haram members found to have been conscripted.

But the group said those who remained defiant to renouncing their membership of the deadly islamist terror group should be treated as criminals that deserved no mercy.

At a press conference in Abuja, the northern women group, under the aegis of Coalition for Women Advancement in Africa, COWAA, said its call was based on international conventions which provided that an enemy who surrendered in war front should be given consideration.

Speaking through its Executive Vice President, Mrs Pukat Samuel, the group said its call for the amnesty was based on its belief that such gesture by the government would further decimate the Boko Haram movement.

The northern women insisted that it was time for government to begin to look towards granting amnesty to the terror group, if it was interested in seeing a return of complete peace in the region.

She said: "We want to note that amnesty should be handed over to all those who were forcibly indoctrinated into the terror group's criminality as a way of further decimating the group.

"This should help us see to the final end to insurgency in Nigeria. We reiterate our position that amnesty should be granted to those who were forcibly indoctrinated into the movement, while those who wished to remain were treated as criminals by the Nigerian Army.

"All extreme groups in Nigeria, working in tandem with political actors in and outside Nigeria to sabotage the peace of the people, shall all be dealt with and no group of persons should ever contemplate daring the strength of the Armed Forces."

They commended what they called the immediate rescue of the 16 women abducted by Boko Haram, noting that the timely rescue was a reminder that anyone abducted shall be found and set free.

The group said it carried out forensic analysis to view the content of the purported video by the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, and "can authoritatively confirm that it is not only true but represents the situation and efforts of the military in that regard."

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