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Calls to prosecute surrendered Boko-Haram terrorists are against global practices -FG

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THE Federal Government has said calls by Nigerians to prosecute surrendered Boko-Haram terrorists were against global practices.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed stated this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Washington DC on Friday.

Mohammed said he had spoken with some military authorities before he left Nigeria for the United States, who informed him that terrorists would not be prosecuted because they are considered prisoners of war.

He said the military would reintegrate the terrorists into society after they have been profiled with assurances that they genuinely surrendered.

“I personally spoke to the military authority before I left Nigeria and they said what they were doing is what the global practice dictates about soldiers that surrendered that should be treated as prisoners of war,” he said.

“You cannot just shoot them because there are international conventions that give rights also to prisoners of war.

“What the military is doing is that, when they surrender, they profile them to ensure that they are genuine and reintegrate them into the society.”

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The Nigerian Army have, in recent times, announced the gale of the surrender by the insurgents. Army Spokesperson Onyema Nwachukwu announced, in a statement on Monday, that about 186 terrorists consisting of their wives and other family members surrendered to the Nigerian troops of Operation HADIN KAI at Forward Operational Base (FOB) Ajiri.

Nwachukwu said that the terrorist organisations were now being overwhelmed with palpable fear owing to the surrender of their members.

Some Nigerians have condemned the olive branch being offered by the Nigerian government to the insurgents who are surrendering in droves in the North-East.

Boko-Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) are responsible for the death of more than 53,000 people and has displaced nearly 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad Basin.

Already, there are calls by a controversial Muslim group that the surrendered insurgents should be accepted into the society and be treated like newly-found brothers.

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) wants the authorities to do everything possible to resettle and reintegrate the insurgents who are surrendering back into society.

MURIC Director Ishaq Akintola appealed that the insurgents, who had terrorised Borno State for more than a decade, should be trained in vocations that would enable them to cater for themselves and their families in future.

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