Nigeria welcomes Boko Haram cease-fire

2013-02-03 00:09:47 GMT2013-02-03 08:09:47(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Nigeria government on Saturday said the cease-fire declared last week by the militant Boko Haram sect is a welcome idea.

Vice President Namadi Sambo who visited the north east city of Maiduguri and hotbed of Boko Haram insurgents since 2009 to meet elders and security chiefs told reporters that government is studying the cease-fire declared by the Boko Haram and will evaluate before it takes any action.

"We welcome the cease-fire offer announced recently by the Boko Haram group and we will do everything as a government to see that we achieve a lasting peace in Nigeria," he added.

"That is why the Federal government is seriously consulting on the best approach to handle the ceasefire offer. The president has always wanted and advocated a peaceful dialogue process in ending this problem and this is a very welcome development," the vice president said.

A high profile traditional ruler in the state, Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Garbai El-Kannemi asked the Federal Government to accept the cease-fire of Boko Haram to end the three years old crisis.

He told the vice president that residents have suffered both human and material resources loss in the crisis, adding that the residents are now yearning for peace through dialogue with the sect.

Streets and major roads of the city were cordoned off by security operatives as markets, business centers and transportation by residents were shut down.

Maiduguri has recently come under serious attacks by gunmen and bombers. Militants of the sect staged an uprising in the northeastern city of Maiduguri in 2009, attacking state institutions including prisons, police stations and schools. More than 1,500 people have been reportedly killed ever since, either in the attacks or clashes with local security forces.

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