The Nigeria Army on Monday said it has released 1,250 Boko Haram suspects who have been cleared of links with the terrorist group.
The General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the army, Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, disclosed this when the Head of Sub Delegation of ICRC, Mr. Beat Mosimann, visited him at the Maimalari cantonment in Maiduguri.
Ezugwu said that the cleared suspects were released in about seven batches after been cleared of having links with Boko Haram.
He said, “We are keeping this on the regular release because the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, want us to ensure that it is only people who has contact and connection with Boko Haram that have insurgency issues to sort that should be detained so that those who do not have contact should be released.
“By the end of this January and February another batch of detainees would be cleared.
“The ICRC wants us to collaborate in the area of welfare for our detainees and we have assured them that we are going to continue doing our best interns of welfare in accordance with the international practice.
“Our approach in handling detained suspects is multi agency so what we do is that we collaborate with NGOs so that once there is gap in what we are doing they will tell us.
“In terms of feeding, we are providing solid Nigerian foods for the detainees; good food supplement that would enhance their wellbeing.
“Access to exercise and the best out of accommodation. We are hoping that things will get better in 2017.’’
Mosimann had earlier said that ICRC has mapped out several programmes in 2017 to assist IDPs who would soon be returning back to their respective liberated communities.
He said, “We have discussed with the army on issues of protection of especially that of the detainees which was part of our mandate to see how we can improve on that.
“It is part of our mandate, which was stipulated in Geneva convention, to assist wounded persons not just soldiers but anybody who is wounded in a conflict situation.
“Our job is purely humanitarian. The humanitarian situation had quite improved. We thank the army for supporting the people in liberating their communities and ICRC will support this people to go back.”