Nigeria claims deal with Boko Haram on ceasefire, kidnapped girls

October 18, 2014 8:37 am

– Chad talks –

Tukur said he represented the government at two meetings with the Islamists in Chad, which were mediated by the country’s President Idriss Deby.

“Boko Haram issued the ceasefire as a result of the discussions we have been having with them,” said Tukur, adding that Ahmadu made the announcement on Thursday evening.

“They have agreed to release the Chibok girls,” he continued, referring to the girls seized in northeast Nigeria on April 14, causing global outrage.

Leaders of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, which has been pressuring the government to act, gave a cautious welcome to a possible release.

“We are monitoring the news with huge expectations,” they said on Twitter.

Ndjamena refused to comment but security sources in the country said Chad, which Jonathan visited for talks with Deby early last month, had been involved in the discussions.

The source also said a ceasefire agreement was reached as well as the release of 27 hostages, 10 of them Chinese nationals, who were kidnapped in northern Cameroon earlier this year.

The release of the hostages last weekend was “a first strong signal” from Boko Haram to prove their good faith, the source added but did not mention the schoolgirls.

Cameroon announced on Friday that eight of its soldiers and 107 Boko Haram fighters were killed during fierce fighting in its far north region on Wednesday and Thursday.

A police officer told AFP that at least 30 civilians had been killed by Boko Haram before the military ambush.

In Nigeria, unidentified gunmen on Friday killed eight people on a road near Shaffa village in Borno state, two local residents said, but it was not clear if the attack was by militants.

The incident, however, happened near where a prominent Muslim leader, the Emir of Gwoza, was killed by Boko Haram militants in May.

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