Friday, August 5, 2011

Boko Haram – The Negotiations After

5 August 2011

COMPARISONS between Boko Haram and the militants in the Niger Delta, as the explanation for the proposed talks between government and the group in Maiduguri are inevitable, though many would refuse to see the connection.

Both groups rose against the state. Both refuse submission to the laws of the country. Governments sent security forces after them, only to realise that the issues were political  and could benefit more from negotiations than only force.

How it would work with Boko Haram is a major challenge. With the Niger Delta, government was the one giving the conditions, the major one being a deadline for militants to disarm, after which they would be re-habilitated. Those who refused to turn in their arms were deemed to have rejected the amnesty.

The economic interest that was the fulcrum of the Niger Delta amnesty is completely absent in Maiduguri and Bauchi where Boko Haram has made its bases.

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