Boko Haram goes on Ramadhan break


Militants of the Boko Haram sect have announced a voluntary ceasefire ahead of government’s constitution of a negotiating panel in Abuja.


The militants who had claimed responsibility for several bombings in the Nigerian capital, Maiduguri in the north east and Kaduna and Jos said they were not observing the ceasefire in deference to government’s gesture, but because of the Ramadhan season. Muslims in Nigeria began the yearly fasting today.


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The militant group which favours an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria said in an email today that “We would be having a lull in activities because of the holy month of Ramadan.” The e-mail contradicted another threat said to have been made by the group to bomb Kaduna. The conflicting statements may signpost a creeping division in the group.


The Federal Government said it wants to start negotiating with Boko Haram. President Goodluck Jonathan had appointed seven people, including the ministers of defence and labour, to form a negotiation committee that will report back by 16 August. Members of the panel will be sworn in on Tuesday.

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