A cease-fire deal has been reached between the Nigerian government and notorious Islamic militant group Boko Haram, according to a number of sources.
Details are still emerging, but BBC reported earlier Friday that “Nigeria’s military says it has agreed a truce with Islamist militant group Boko Haram—and says the schoolgirls the group has abducted will be released.” Both military and government officials are confirming that deal, the details of which remain sketchy. The BBC and sources who have spoken with The Root have confirmed that the Nigerian government and Boko Haram did have a negotiation meeting in Saudi Arabia.
At the time of publication of this article, Voice of America was still reporting that “there was no immediate word on the fate of the girls.” Self-described Boko Haram “Secretary General” Danladi Ahmadu, however, was reportedly disclosing the location of the girls somewhere remote on the Nigerian-Chadian border and that they are “in good condition and unharmed.”
The infamous Islamist group’s abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls earlier in the year sparked worldwide condemnation and a celebrity-studded hashtag campaign, #BringOurGirlsBack. In recent months Boko Haram had made territorial gains in northeastern Nigeria, but recent reports, including a late-September announcement that the military had killed the rebel group’s leader, have suggested that the Nigerian army is pushing back.
Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist and a contributing editor at The Root. He is also Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune, a frequent contributor to The Hill, the weekly Washington insider for WDAS-FM in Philadelphia and host of The Ellison Report, a weekly public-affairs magazine broadcast and podcast on WEAA 88.9 FM Baltimore. Follow him on Twitter.