Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has said that over 35,000 repentant Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists are being disarmed for reintegration into communities, The Guardian reports.
Zulum declared this, yesterday, at an international conference, tagged ‘Lake Chad Basin: Key Steps towards Comprehensive Regional Solutions’ at Winston House, Sussex, United Kingdom (UK).
Addressing delegates from Chad, Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger and development partners from UK, he disclosed: “We’re navigating the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) processes in the state,” amid ongoing kinetic efforts to fully reintegrate the repentant terrorists.
The conference, hosted by UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, he noted, focuses on effectively managing the massive surrender of the terrorists through DDR.
Presenting the paper, he said the rate of defection and surrender by the terrorists, as well as liberated communities, were high with an average of 200 to 300 people a day.
“This requires immediate action to cater for the people in such a way that it will encourage further defections,” he said.
Warning against treating the repentant terrorists as prisoners of war, he stressed the need to protect those that surrendered, as their lives are in danger of being attacked by ISWAP.
The Lake Chad Basin Regional Strategy for Stabilisation Recovery and Resilience, he said, will also provide the framework for conflict interventions by the development partners.
Zulum will deliver a keynote on, ‘Insurgency, Recovery and Rebuilding Borno State: My Aspirations for the State and Lake Chad region’ today at the conference.
He will provide an overview of the impact of terrorism, destroyed infrastructure, displacements, humanitarian crises and resettlement efforts.
Other speakers from different countries shared experiences and knowledge peculiar to the communities in the Lake Chad Basin countries.
Government officials that attended the conference include Borno State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Zuwaira Gambo; Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Brig-Gen. Abdullahi Ishaq (rtd) and the Governor’s Adviser and Coordinator, Sustainable Development, Partnership and Humanitarian Support, Dr. Mairo Mandara.
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