Even though Nigerian officials went on record to declare a ceasefire and the eventual release of the missing schoolgirls of Chibok last Friday, Boko Haram‘s alleged weekend abductions and violence suggests that the so-called truce between the government and terrorists has either been compromised or was a false comfort to the public.
Keep Up With Face2Face Africa On Facebook!
On Saturday, dozens of girls and women were reportedly abducted from the villages of Waga Mangoro and Garta, which are both located near the Boko Haram-controlled towns of Madagali and Michika, reports the BBC.
Due to poor communication, residents from these villages reportedly informed the press and authorities about the kidnappings on Thursday.
In addition, in a town located in Bauchi state, a bus station was reportedly bombed, killing at least five civilians, and reported raids also occurred in Adamawa and Borno also during the weekend.
Conflicting Reports of Ceasefire, Release of Girls
Yet, last Friday, Nigeria’s Chief of Staff, Alex Badeh, and President Goodluck Jonathan‘s aide, Hassan Tukur, announced that they had reached a truce with Boko Haram, resulting in an immediate ceasefire:
According to Presidential Aide Hassan Tukur, the negotiations between the government and Boko Haram have been ongoing for a month, with Chad acting as the mediator.
By Thursday, Boko Haram, who now controll 12 towns in northeastern Nigeria, had reportedly agreed to a unilitateral ceasfire in response to the truce.
Further, authorities confirmed that the nearly 300 schoolgirls who have been missing for six months would be released by the militant group.
Of the girls’ impending release, Tukur said, “They’ve assured us they have the girls and they will release them,” he said. “I am cautiously optimistic.”
Government Spokesman Mike Omeri also confirmed the significant news of the students’ release, adding, “We are inching closer to release of all groups in captivity, including the Chibok girls,” he said.
But obviously, the ongoing violence and new abductions seem to point to a different reality: While government officials continue to insist that negotiations have been fruitful, Boko Haram’s continued terrorist activities suggest otherwise.
Regarding the girls, Nigerian officials also said that they have another meeting this week to work out the details of their release.
There have been no updates about the meeting so far, and reported Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau has remained mum about both matters.