Nigeria: Human Rights Boss Seeks Separate Settlement for Rejected Repentant Boko Haram Insurgents

18 October 2019

Maiduguri — The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Barr Tony Ojukwu, has called for separate settlements for deradicalized repentant Boko Haram insurgents rejected by their home communities.

Barr Ojukwu was commenting on the fate of such repentant insurgents deradicalized under the Safe Corridor programme of government, but were rejected by their home communities.

The Executive Secretary faulted the deradicalization process, maintaining that deradicalization without proper sensitization of the home communities of the repentant insurgents is not complete.

"The communities have to be properly sensitized to accept the deradicalized repentant insurgents on their return home before they are returned to avoid their rejection," he said.

Barr Ojukwu said if the communities are not prepared to accept them, they should be settled at a neutral safe and secure location where they can lead their normal lives without fear of reprisal by those they might have hurt.

He classified Boko Haram insurgents into four: the diehards who are the sect faithful; the unemployed who are employed by the terror sponsors for pittances; those forcefully conscripted by the terrorists; and those living in the same settlements with the terrorists and have, therefore, been bred in the way of life of the terrorists.

Barr Ojukwu urged the public to be mindful of the differences of the four classes.

The Executive Secretary was in Maiduguri for the commission's interface with MDAs with protection mandate for IDPs, Protection Action Groups (PAGs) and,Humanitarian Actors.

Addressing the opening session of the interface, the,Executive Secretary said it was to enable protection and humanitarian actors identify potentials and future collaboration areas, among others.

He thanked the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for its continued support since 2015 on the project.

The interface is a regular activity under the IDPs Protection Monitoring Project of the commission, sponsored by UNHCR.

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