Nigeria says 'de-radicalization' program still on

Programme is now being implemented as part of counterterrorism effort.

Nigeria says 'de-radicalization' program still on
World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigerian authorities have said that a "de-radicalization program" – designed to deny Boko Haram and other militant groups a recruiting ground – is now being implemented as part of the country's counterterrorism efforts.

"This is a soft approach [that is] intended to counter the ideology of violence, build trust and community resilience at the grassroots," program coordinator Fatima Akilu said.

She said the program was subdivided into three areas: counter-radicalization, de-radicalization and strategic communication.

"Efforts will focus on the de-radicalization process to get at those unwilling to continue with the fight, prevent those who had the intention to join such groups, and put a stop to the terrorists' capacity to recruit," Akilu said.

She said the program was designed to prevent people from being misled through the manipulation of religious texts to suit the agenda of terrorists.

The program, Akilu added, is being organized in collaboration with the European Union.

Last year, National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, a retired senior military official, launched the program following criticisms of military operations carried out in the country's insurgency-wracked northeast.

The Boko Haram militant group is believed to preach an extreme version of Islam, although a number of its apprehended members say group leaders seldom preach Islam.

Analysts are divided over its ideological leaning, too, with many claiming it is a political movement hiding under the mantle of religion.

Tens of thousands of Nigerians have been killed since Boko Haram launched its violent campaign in 2009 following the extrajudicial murder of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, while in police custody.

The group has also been blamed for the destruction of public infrastructure, private businesses and the displacement of at least six million Nigerians.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ocak 2015, 10:41