UNDP to Reintegrate Repentant Boko Haram Insurgents into their Communities

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the weekend disclosed that all genuinely repentant Boko Haram insurgents would be reintegrated to their various communities, though some of the communities had been resisting it.

The Country Director of UNDP, Mr. Samuel Bwalya, said this at the first capacity-building programme for 1,000 Civilian JTF and vigilantes held at Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (CLTC), Jos at the weekend.

He said: “We have been trying to see how we can reintegrate genuinely repentant Boko Haham members into their communities but there has been resistance by some communities.

“As a way forward, UNDP has consulted with the government of the concerned states, especial Borno State. And they said we may need to begin by first reconciling them with the communities by preaching forgiveness from social, religious and cultural perspectives before reintegration.”

Bwalya explained that the communities “are even rejecting some women that have been their victims in terms of abduction, who became pregnant for the insurgents and now have children for them.

“So, we have to help government to develop a policy framework that will guide the process of the reintegration. This is the process we are starting in Borno state by next week.”

Bwalya, who was represented by Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Analyst of UNDP, Mr. Matthew Alao also disclosed that UNDP would build capacity of 20 percent of over 30,000 civilian JTF/vigilantes assisting the military in the North East.

He noted that the feedbacks from the field showed that earlier batches of trainees “are doing very well on the field. They are now better equipped to assist the military in combating the insurgents.”

He said this programme “presents another opportunity for UNDP and its partner, the German Government, to celebrate the impact of our steadfast interventions aimed at ensuring stability and economic prosperity for all the inhabitants of the North-east and Nigeria.

“Today’s event is the fourth in the series of capacity building programme for Civilian JTF/Vigilantes in the North east intended to empower and strengthen their skills and competences on leadership, civic and value reorientation, drug awareness, human rights, sexual and gender-based violence, and conflict prevention and peace-building.

“We are humbled by the feedbacks emanating from the previous participants and stakeholders in the region that attested to the fact that this capacity building is impacting positively on the service delivery of the Civilian JTF and Vigilantes to their states and communities.”

In his remarks, the Director General of CLTC, Mr. Bitrus Bawa appreciated the positive feedbacks from previous participants of the capacity building.

He, however, said he would also appreciate constructive criticism of CLTC training programme so at to help the centre to improve.

The 547 participants, who just completed their training, were awarded certificates and various other medals for outstanding performances with Shettima Section wining most of the medals.