Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in Borno State, has said that out of 100,000 repentant Boko Haram, only 5,000 were actual insurgents. She made this disclosure during a presentation titled “Borno Model” at an event organized by the Peace Ambassador for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment (PACHE) to mark the 2023 International Day of Peace in Maiduguri.
Contrary to public concerns that the entire 100,000 were insurgents, it turns out that only around 5,000 were genuine combatants, while the majority consisted of farmers, women, and children who had been held hostage by the insurgents.
Gambo emphasized that many of these individuals were victims being forcibly held by the insurgents and clarified that the process of DE radicalization and reintegration into their communities did not include the actual insurgents. She assured that the government maintained records of the whereabouts of all released persons.
Before any individual is released and reintegrated into their community, Gambo explained that they must undergo a rigorous three-week training program on human rights, conducted by security and religious leaders. Additionally, their community’s endorsement of their return is crucial.
The commissioner appealed for international community support to ensure the government’s success in establishing lasting peace in the state. It’s worth noting that the “Borno Model” represents a non-violent approach that has been employed for over a decade to address counter-insurgency efforts and address humanitarian crises in the region.
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