Nigeria’s presidency said 47 former Boko Haram members and more than 300 victims rescued from a militant stronghold in the northeast Sambisa forest have entered a rehabilitation program.
At least 22 women and girls, who were recruited to be suicide bombers, are also undergoing a “de-radicalization” program run by Fatima Akilu, head of the Countering Violent Extremism department in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday.
“One of the objectives of the CVE is to reform terrorists and prevent others from joining terrorist organisations and violent sects,” according to the statement. President Muhammadu Buhari “said that the federal government will continue to do its best to ensure that victims of Boko Haram’s atrocities receive necessary support.”
Buhari came to office last month vowing to crush a six-year insurgency by Boko Haram that has killed thousands. The rebels have stepped up suicide attacks since losing territory earlier this year after a regional military offensive by forces from Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad.