|[Published: Monday March 19 2012]
Nigeria-Boko Haram mediator quits
Abuja, 19 Mar – (ANA) - A Muslim cleric brokering peace talks between Nigeria's government and Islamist militant group Boko Haram said yesterday he was quitting the negotiations because he doubted the government's sincerity after information was leaked.
The departure of Datti Ahmed, a former close ally of Boko Haram's founder, could be a major blow for the discussions which were only in their early stages. The talks were aimed at ending months of bomb and gun attacks by Boko Haram that killed hundreds, mostly in the majority Muslim north of Africa's top oil producer. The group has said it wants to impose Islamic sharia law across a country split equally between Christians and Muslims. Political and diplomatic sources told Reuters on Thursday people close to Boko Haram had been carrying messages back and forth between the sect's self-proclaimed leader Abubakar Shekau and government officials. Ahmed said yesterday he had been in touch with senior officials from the government and Boko Haram, which had been ready to discuss a reconciliation.
But he had now decided to pull out of the process after details of the discussions appeared in the Nigerian media. He did not say who he thought had leaked the information. (ANA)
FA/ANA/19 March 2012-------