(Business Week) – Persistent violence in northeast Nigeria is undermining the government’s claims to have brokered a cease-fire with Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
A lack of detail about the agreement the Nigerian military announced on Oct. 17 and complaints of exclusion from the process by community leaders in the worst-hit areas are fueling skepticism about prospects of an end to the five-year rebellion.
“If there is any genuine cease-fire, people from the three affected states should have been invited,” Bulama Mali Gubio, spokesman for the Borno Elders Forum, said yesterday from Maiduguri, the state capital. “But for the Federal Government just to come out and say soldiers should lay down their arms, there is a cease-fire — it means they are giving us to Boko Haram.”
Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, states in the northeast of Nigeria, about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) from the oil-producing southern coast and commercial capital Lagos, have borne the brunt of the Boko Haram insurgency.