THE Federal Government may have in the last one week held its first indirect peace talks with the Boko Haram sect, meeting mediators to discuss a possible ceasefire, the international news agency, Reuters, quoted sources as saying yesterday. Two people close to Boko Haram have been carrying messages back and forth between the sect’s self-proclaimed leader, Abubakar Shekau, and government officials, the sources, who asked not to be named, said. It was not clear whether any mediators met with President Goodluck Jonathan himself.
“BH (Boko Haram) has mentioned a conditional ceasefire but it wants all its members released from prison. The government sees this as unacceptable but is willing to release foot soldiers,” a traditional leader and civil rights activist involved in the talks also told Reuters. “It is the first time a ceasefire has been mentioned, so it is a massive positive, but given the lack of trust a resolution is still a way off,” he added.