Friday, the Nigerian military announced a truce between the Nigerian state and radical Islamic insurgency Boko Haram. Responsible for the deaths for more than 3,000 Nigerians this year alone, 1,700 of whom were professed Christians, Boko Haram has waged a campaign of terror against the Nigerian people for more than a decade in pursuit if the establishment of a separate Islamic state to be ruled by Sharia law. Immediately following the announcement, respected Nigerian journalists tweeted their skepticism, chalking the unconfirmed truce up as yet another publicity ploy by a Nigerian state known for its preemptive declarations.
10/18/2014 Nigeria (New York Times) – Nigeria’s top military official has declared a cease-fire with Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group that kidnapped more than 200 girls from a rural school months ago, three leading Nigerian news organizations reported on Friday.
Nigeria’s chief of defense staff, Alex Badeh, was cited as issuing an order to comply with the cease-fire “in all theaters of operations” against Boko Haram, which has battled the government for years, overrunning villages in the country’s northeast. The reports said the cease-fire came amid talks over the schoolgirls and their possible release.
Previous reports of a cease-fire have later proved untrue, leading some experts to question the likelihood of an agreement on Friday. A State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said on Friday that American officials were aware of the reported cease-fire, but could not confirm it.
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Soon after Boko Haram abducted the schoolgirls in April, the Nigerian military said they had been rescued. But as of Friday there was no word about their fate. Similarly, Mr. Badeh previously said that the girls had been located in the northeast. But there was no follow-up and none have since been rescued.
The reported cease-fire comes as the president, Goodluck Jonathan, is expected to announce a bid for re-election next year in a contest that numerous analysts say is likely to provoke the violence that often characterizes Nigerian elections.
Ahmed Salkida, a former journalist who has had close contact with Boko Haram in the past and is widely thought to maintain some links with the group, expressed skepticism about the reported agreement.