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ICC Note:  A faction of Boko Haram has reached out to Nigerian President Buhari offering peace talks, according to Reuters.  Boko Haram began its insurgency in 2009, and since then, has murdered countless Christians and Muslims in Nigeria as well as Niger, Cameroon, and Chad.  Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was elected largely on the platform of defeating Boko Haram, and has expressed his willingness to negotiate with the terrorist group in the past. The Nigerian government is working to validate the group’s claims.

7/27/15, Abuja, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigeria’s government has been approached by a group that says it is a faction of the Islamist Boko Haram with an offer to hold peace talks, a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday.

Suspected members of the militant Islamist group have killed more than 600 people in Africa’s most populous nation in a spate of bombings and shootings since Buhari was inaugurated as president on May 29, according to a Reuters tally.

Efforts to reach an agreement to end the violence, including a 2014 deal fostered by Chad, have repeatedly failed during the six-year insurgency waged by the group in its bid to set up a state in the northeast adhering to strict Islamic laws.

“A faction of the Boko Haram group came forward claiming to have the mandate to negotiate with the government,” said presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, adding that efforts were under way to “verify their claims” of having such authority.

Buhari’s administration has previously said it was not averse to negotiating with the group which has killed thousands and left around 1.5 million people displaced during its insurgency.

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