News / Africa

    Nigeria, Boko Haram Reach Cease-Fire, Agree to Free Schoolgirls

    Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Harami
    X
    Mariama Diallo
    October 20, 2014 3:26 PM
    Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
    Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram
    VOA News

    The Nigerian government says the militant group Boko Haram has agreed to a cease-fire and the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants in April.

    Nigeria's highest-ranking military official, General Alex Badeh, announced the cease-fire agreement Friday. He ordered all of the country's military chiefs to abide by the deal.

    The government expects the cease-fire agreement now in effect to lead to the release of the schoolgirls.

    There has been no public comment from Boko Haram that any such deal has been reached.

    Top Nigerian presidential aide Hassan Tukur tells VOA's Hausa service that the militants have agreed in principle to free the schoolgirls. He said negotiations in the past had not yet "yielded any positive results," but he is cautiously optimistic this time.

    Boko Haram has terrorized Nigeria for the last five years as it tries to turn northern Nigeria into a conservative Islamic state. Bombings, gun attacks and other acts of violence have killed thousands of civilians and police.

    The militants outraged the world when they stormed a school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok, kidnapping about 270 girls. Fifty-seven managed to escape, but more than 200 are still being held.

    The cease-fire talks were held in Chad and involved Chad's president, Idriss Deby, and senior officials from Cameroon. It  marks a possible end to the five-year insurgency in which several thousand Nigerians have been killed.

    Nigerian leader criticized

    Jonathan has been criticized at home and abroad for Nigerian troops' inability to quell violence by the militants, seen as the biggest security threat to Africa's top economy and leading energy producer.

    Chibok schoolgirls who escaped the rebels prepare to meet with officials in Maiduguri, Nigeria, June 2, 2014.Chibok schoolgirls who escaped the rebels prepare to meet with officials in Maiduguri, Nigeria, June 2, 2014.
    x
    Chibok schoolgirls who escaped the rebels prepare to meet with officials in Maiduguri, Nigeria, June 2, 2014.
    Chibok schoolgirls who escaped the rebels prepare to meet with officials in Maiduguri, Nigeria, June 2, 2014.

    Criticism intensified in mid-April, when dozens of Boko Haram fighters stormed a secondary school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok, kidnapping around 270 girls. Fifty-seven managed to escape.

    In a video, the Boko Haram leader known as Abubakar Shekau threatened to sell the other girls as slave brides, vowing they would not be released until militant prisoners were freed from jail.

    Boko Haram has said it is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

    The group has launched scores of attacks in the past five years, targeting markets, bus stations, government facilities, churches and even mosques.  Militants recently took over some towns in the northeast for what Shekau said in another video would be an Islamic caliphate.

    The Nigerian military says that Shekau was actually an impostor and that the real Shekau was killed several years ago. It says the impostor was killed last month during a battle in the town of Konduga. 

    VOA's Hausa service, correspondent Anne Look, and reporters Yusuf Aliyu Harande and Umar Farouk contributed to this report.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: eze from: enugu
    October 18, 2014 5:53 PM
    Nigerian army is very constructive .

    by: FOURTH from: NIGERIA
    October 18, 2014 10:30 AM
    Why using the freedom and fundamental right of the Chibok girls to seek re-election? See how inhuman our rulers are

    by: Ik from: Lagos
    October 18, 2014 9:43 AM
    I doubt this news' validity. Negotiation involves mutual agreement. If Boko agreed to release the girls what did Nigeria leaders agreed to offer Boko Haram?
    In Response

    by: FU from: Langos
    October 18, 2014 7:40 PM
    Oxymoronic statement. If you don't wouldn't help if you didn't speculate. I doubt validity on your intelligence.

    by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
    October 18, 2014 4:28 AM
    Save the Nigeran Girls

    by: David Adibok from: Taraba state
    October 18, 2014 2:28 AM
    Thanks to Boko haram for the cease fire agreedment.

    by: farouk sanusi from: nigeria
    October 18, 2014 1:33 AM
    First of all, I pray this is real, not the usual lie the military is known for. I rejoice with the family of the missing girls, and the north. I send my condolence to the families who have lost their ones. If this will bring Peace, i support it. But let whoever has a hand in this insurgency know that a day will come when he will pay for it. Lastly, I pray Allah gives us the best leader to lead Nigeria to greater Heights! Keep sentiments saúde.

    by: Harry from: Sydney
    October 17, 2014 7:47 PM
    It's all political scam, Bokoharam is regrouping on the foolishness of Nigeria government . This is yet one of series of scam Goodluck Jonathan is using to push for his selfish second term ambition.
    In Response

    by: Henry from: Hill Billy, Australia
    October 18, 2014 5:58 AM
    Amazing, how people with here know so much but yet they cannot be specific or evidently. It's nice getting ethics lecture from Australia who so far undermines any racial crimes.

    by: yomi from: USA
    October 17, 2014 6:54 PM
    But we were told there was no kidnapping. Now that the terrorists have been paid to release the girls for election credit for Jonathan , Abati and other robbers at Aso Rock must apologise to Oby.

    by: O.K Olaniran from: bonny
    October 17, 2014 5:26 PM
    While we give thanks to God for the ray of hope on the possible release of the Chibok girls, I strongly think the Chadian president owe Nigerians the explanation on how it was possible for the militants to harbour that number of girls within his territory and without the knowledge of security operatives in his country.

    by: BTT from: Dar-Es-Salaam
    October 17, 2014 4:36 PM
    Good new to hear the girls shall be released. I don't care to know how many BH prisoners will be exchanged or ransom paid by the NG govt. My advice to all schools around troubled area is to close up for at least 2 months; and all christian families in troubled area to relocate to any save place during the cease fire. The last fight to flush out BH and to regain back those cities captured shall be very tough.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora