Niamey, Niger- The government of Niger, a predominantly Muslim country, promises to accommodate fighter dissenting the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The government, on Thursday, called all its citizens that militate in the Boko Haram Jihadist organization to hand themselves over while promising an amnesty and access to social benefits within the framework of a re-insertion program.
Interior Minister made the offer, Mohammed Bazoum on national radio, two days after 31 Jihadists of this religious sect, created in neighboring Nigeria but also active in Niger and Chad, surrendered to the Niamey authorities.
“We have made a call to all our compatriots in the Boko Haram sect wishing to follow the steps of those who have preceded them: we are going to guarantee their security, we are not going to imprison them and avoid any judicial persecution; quite the opposite, we promise to support them,” Bazoum said.
He said the government had set up a transit camp for all those who accept in the town of Diffa to the southeast of Niger, where BH has launched most of its attacks.
Bazoum said he was considering building another camp in the district of Goudoumaria, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the Nigerian border.
Bazoum spoke having recently returned from a visit to the area.
The minister also promised to go ahead with a social reinsertion program for those who voluntarily abandon the Jihadist ranks.
“We are going to assist them and invite them to join certain activities, apart from entering a de-radicalization program and gradually ease them into social re-insertion,” he said.
Boko Haram suffered on Dec. 24 one of its biggest defeats in its Sambisa feud, a forest located northeast of Nigeria, when the Nigerian army over-ran what was considered BH’s headquarters, and forcing their militants to flee.
During its seven years of activity it is estimated BH has murdered more than 20,000 people and forced nearly two million people to become refugees across the borders of Nigeria, Niger, and Chad.