The U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is in Nigeria. While holding several meetings with dignitaries, Guterres said on Tuesday he fully supported moves to expand facilities to reintegrate surrendering Islamist insurgents in northeastern Nigeria because it was a key step to achieving peace in Africa’s most populous nation.
Nigeria has been fighting Islamist group Boko Haram and its offshoot Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) for more than a decade, in a conflict that has killed thousands and forced millions to flee their homes.
As part of efforts to end the conflict, the government is reintegrating fighters who voluntarily surrender.
Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum said at least 40,000 Boko Haram fighters and their families have turned themselves in to authorities since last year, as the group reels from the death of its leader early in 2021 and as rival ISWAP seeks to absorb them.
Guterres, who visited a camp housing some fighters who surrendered and another housing internally displaced persons in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, later told a news conference that the integration programme would help achieve peace.