The Nigerian government is creating a fact finding committee on local Islamist militant group Boko Haram in hopes of putting an end to its attacks in Nigeria's northeast through dialogue.
In late July, the Federal Government of Nigeria announced the creation of a special fact-finding committee on Boko Haram, the Muslim rebel movement in the country’s northeast. This committee was charged with submitting a report that would guide the government’s strategy in dealing with the movement, including the possibility of pursuing dialogue with militants in order to broker a political solution to the conflict.
The submission of the final report has been delayed, but the government committee has now submitted an interim report, the contents of which are not yet public. A final, public report is expected soon.
Government officials have tried to manage expectations about a possible dialogue with Boko Haram, but the possibility is still on the table:
[Secretary of Government Anyim Pius] Anyim, at the inauguration of the panel, had said that the government will not negotiate with the Islamist sect Boko Haram, blamed for scores of attacks in the region, but will instead recommend whether talks should be opened.
“This is not a negotiation team,” he said. “It’s a fact-finding team. It’s a forum to identify a solution.”
But Anyim’s office had earlier issued a statement saying the panel’s duties would include acting “as a liaison between the federal government… and Boko Haram and to initiate negotiations with the sect.”
The panel could recommend at the completion of its work to open negotiations with the sect, he later clarified.
Reuters has more:
The head of the committee, Usman Gaji Galtimari, said it had produced a preliminary report which included urgent recommendations for the government but no details of its findings would be publicly released until the final paper was given to Jonathan in two weeks. The original deadline was August 16.