Rehabilitation camp for Boko Haram fighters to open in April
A rehabilitation camp for hundreds of repentant Boko Haram members who have surrendered to the Nigerian military is set to open later in April, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, the spokesman for the Defence Headquarters said on Friday.
“The establishment of the camp is in line with best global practices, to rehabilitate those fighters who surrendered or are captured in a war situation. Abubakar said. “It is going to be a huge exercise,” he added.
The camp is expected to “empower, deradicalise, retrain and reintegrate” Boko Haram fighters who have laid down their arms.
Abubakar said more than 800 fighters are expected to receive rehabilitation and skills training in the camp, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said.
He did not say where the camp will be located, but said the military will hold a press conference Tuesday to give more details.
He launched a fresh appeal to Boko Haram militants still fighting to lay down their arms and rejoin society.
Nigeria’s military has in the past been criticised for extensive human rights abuses in the fight against Boko Haram.
Human rights group Amnesty International said in a report in February that torture and other ill-treatment by the police and security forces were widespread.
An estimated 20,000 people have been killed since Boko Haram began its campaign of violence in 2009 to carve out a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.
More than 2.6 million people have fled their homes since, but some of the internally displaced have recently begun returning after the Nigerian military captured swathes of territory back from the insurgents.