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601 former Boko Haram fighters deradicalised and released – DRR

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The Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Major General Bamidele Shafa disclosed on Saturday that 601 deradicalised ex Boko Haram fighters have been rehabilitated under the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme at the DRR camp in Mallam Sidi, Gombe.

Out of the 601 graduates of the batch 4 client which arrived in 2 chalk on 27 November and 14 December 2019 592 are Nigerians from 10 states of the federation while 14 are foreign Nationals from Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Out of this number, three died of health complications while one was referred for further medical treatment at the Neuro-psychiatric Hospital in Maiduguri.

Shafa said another one was withdrawn on disciplinary ground and transferred for re-categorization and prosecution.

According to the General, on arrival at the camp, the former combatants went through documentation processes to obtain vital background information after which they were subjected to comprehensive medical screening to determine their health status

“Their DNA samples were also collected while their biometrics were captured on National Data using the National Identity Management Commission, (NIMC) facilities for future references.

The background information serves as guide for the experts; Local Treatment Team (LTT) to properly place the clients for treatment therapies and vocational training. The LTT are specialised experts in various fields of deradicalisation and rehabilitation therapies drawn from the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS),” he said.

Since 2016, the Nigerian government have operated Operation Safe Corridor, an intergovernmental program aimed at rehabilitating low-risk, “repentant” Boko Haram fighters.

This program is currently the only sanctioned mechanism for combatants to exit the group. Men who are deemed eligible undergo several weeks of religious reeducation, psychosocial support, and vocational training at the military-run facility in Gombe State. 

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