The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has promised to support the reintegration process for repentant Boko Haram fighters into society.

The Secretary-General made the promise when he paid a courtesy to Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum at the Government House, Maiduguri. 

The war against the Boko Haram insurgency had in the last one year assumed a different dimension with the mass surrendering of fighters and members of their families. 

So far more than fifty thousand combatants and non-combatants have surrendered to authorities in Borno state and are currently undergoing rehabilitation. 

This unprecedented act has attracted global attention and the United Nations Secretary-General is personally leading a delegation to assess the situation. 

Mr Antonio Guterres during a courtesy visit to Governor Babagana Zulum commended the state government for putting in place the right mechanism to fighting terrorism.

According to him, investing in the livelihood of victims of insurgency and reintegration of repentant Boko Haram fighters remains the greatest way of ending the crisis. 

“I was amazed to see today in a centre those that have been terrorists they want to integrate into the society, want to contribute to the society and the policy that has been here, is a policy of reconciliation, the policy of reintegration is a policy aiming at a development perspective to allow for terrorism to be eliminated,” Mr Guterres said.

The UN Secretary-General called on the international community to support Borno state in addressing the humanitarian needs of internally displaced persons and returnees. 

He noted that humanitarian aid is not the major concern of IDPs in Borno, rather providing favourable conditions to enable them to return back to their ancestral homes in safety and dignity. 

Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum appreciated the United Nations system for rendering life-saving humanitarian and development assistance during the twelve years of insurgency. 

He appealed to the United Nations to assist in resuscitation of the Lake Chad and strategic humanitarian support to IDPs outside Maiduguri. 

Governor Zulum assured that his administration would continue to partner with the United Nations to ensure victims of insurgency live in dignity and be productive members of the society. 

The UN Chief and members of his delegation had earlier visited Gubio road IDP camp and one of the facilities for the repentant insurgents.

 Dauda Iliya/Daniel Adejo


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