Africa In The News

Hundreds of Boko Haram suspects released for rehabilitation in Nigeria

JOHANNESBURG, February 19 – A Nigerian court has released 475 people allegedly affiliated with Boko Haram for rehabilitation, the justice ministry confirmed.

Reuters reported that Sunday’s release came simultaneously as the country’s biggest legal investigation of the militant Islamist insurgency continues.

Last week one of the militants belonging to the organisation was the first person to be convicted for his involvement in the kidnapping of 200 Chibok schoolgirls in 2014 and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Nigeria’s military is fighting an insurgency that began in 2009. The fighting has killed more than 20,000 people and displaced two million as Boko Haram attempts to establish an Islamic state.

However, according to rights groups the fight against the insurgents has involved abuse of the suspects including those detained since 2010 previously trialled in detention centres behind closed doors.

In October, the ministry said 45 people suspected of Boko Haram links had been convicted and jailed.

A further 468 suspects were discharged and 28 suspects were remanded for trial in Abuja or Minna.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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