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Borno reintegrates 500 repentant Boko Haram insurgents

participants at a one-day policy dialogue on reconstruction and reintegration as a means to enhancing sustainable peace and security in Maiduguri, Borno state.

The Borno state government has successfully reintegrated 500 repentant Boko Haram insurgents who recently surrendered to the government.

Special Adviser to the Borno state Governor on Security, Abdullahi Ishaq made the announcement at a policy dialogue on Reconstruction and Reintegration as a means to Enhancing Sustainable Peace and Security in Maiduguri. 

Mr Ishaq, a retired army general, said the coordinated military campaign has also resulted in the mass surrender of over 35,000 Boko Haram and Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters and their families.

However, the defection of the fighters has generated a lot of anxiety among residents as many have expressed doubt about their sincerity.

This informed a policy dialogue organised by Peace Ambassadors for Humanitarian Aid and other stakeholders to discuss better ways of reintegrating the repentant insurgents. 

General Ishaq explained that the hybrid non-kinetic approach adopted by the military and the state government informed the recent mass surrender. 

He called for the support of all stakeholders to achieve the needed result. 

The special adviser on security also disclosed that three Chibok girls have recently been rescued while many unaccompanied children have been reunited with their parents in the course of the reintegration process. 

Coordinator, Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid, Ahmed Shehu said the surrender of the repentant insurgents has provided an opportunity for people to access their homes and also afford humanitarian actors the opportunity to reach more vulnerable people in the liberated areas. 

“The reason why we are gathered here is to discuss and come up with all-inclusive and homegrown policy and practice change that will complement and support the efforts of the government and other stakeholders in ensuring effective, efficient and sustainable reconstruction and reintegration in Borno state, ” Ambassador Shehu said.

Director, Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies, University of Maiduguri, Dr Abubakar Monguno, observed that there have been significant improvements in the number of people who indicated willingness for the reintegration of repentant insurgents .

Dr Monguno, however, called for a deliberate policy to manage the defectors.

Reporting by Dauda Iliya; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor