Aug 1st, 2011 – Boko Haram: President Jonathan Sets up Committe For Peace
The group is expected to negotiate with the radical sect to bring peace
President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a committee to negotiate with radical Islamist sect, Boko Haram, in a bid to tackle the security situation which has resulted in daily shootings and bomb attacks in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The committee, which will be inaugurated on Tuesday, was set up after a meeting between Jonathan and local leaders of Borno State, who have accused the military of doing more harm than good in reacting to attacks in the state.
Usman Galtimari, a senior civil servant of the state will head the seven-man committee. He headed a committee which produced a report following the 2009 Boko Haram uprising, in which hundreds of people were killed.
According to a government source, the committee amongst others is to review all the security problems in the zone and make recommendations to bring a speedy end to the crisis.
The president has previously voiced support for dialogue but the group has said it will only negotiate if its demands, including the resignation of the Borno State Government, and the withdrawal of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) are met.
Thousands fled the city this month after clashes between security forces and Boko Haram intensified as civil rights groups say more than 250 people have been killed since July 2010.
Amnesty International has said brutalisation by security forces, unlawful arrests, killings and disappearances have been the operating practice in Maiduguri for months. (Daily Times )