President of Chad, Idris Déby was contacted by Islamic group Boko Haram to broker the ceasefire deal with the Government of Nigeria. The letters were said to have been rechecked with global intelligence bodies who are familiar with the internal workings of the insurgents. TheCable reports.
On confirming that the letters were genuine, Déby set up a meeting with the Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, during the ICT conference in N’Djamena, the Chadian capital. On September 9, Déby and Jonathan met behind closed doors and the President told him he was not against the idea of negotiating with the dreaded sect.
The sect picked Deby in the belief that he will be more sympathetic to their cause since he himself is a former rebel leader and a well-decorated military officer, having led an armed group to overthrow the government of President Hissène Habré in December 1990.
On getting Jonathan’s green light, Déby directed his intelligence chief to put together a team to negotiate with the insurgents. Jonathan, meanwhile, nominated his principal private secretary, Hassan Tukur, and a top security chief to represent Nigeria.
Top on the list of Nigeria’s demand was the release of the abducted Chibok secondary school girls. the sect agreed to this though they said the girls will be released in batches because they are spread all over west Africa and not at a single location.
The Insurgents on their own, demanded that their women and children, who were detained for channelling funds to militants, aiding suicide-bombing, transporting bomb materials and helping to recruit insurgents.
“The most difficult part of the negotiation was the way forward. They expressed fears that the government may not keep its own part of the bargain as soon as they release the girls. By releasing 70 girls first, they want to watch how the rest of the bargain goes.”
Satisfied with the assurances from the negotiating team, the militants promised to declare a ceasefire and demonstrate this by releasing the girls.
Cameroon also entered into negotiations with the sect for the release of 27 hostages including 10 chinese and the wife of the country’s Deputy Prime Minister.