31 Boko Haram fighters have surrendered to Nigerien authorities in the southeastern Diffa region.
This was disclosed by Niger’s interior minister Bazoum Mohamed on Tuesday via his Twitter account.
“Thirty-one young people of Diffa enlisted a few years ago in the Boko Haram forces have decided to surrender,” he tweeted with a video showing the Boko Haram defectors during his visit to the region.
31 jeunes de Diffa enrôlés il y a qlqs années dans les effectifs de Boko Haram et qui ont décidé de faire reddition. pic.twitter.com/DPVqSwJMOC— Mohamed Bazoum (@mohamedbazoum) December 27, 2016
They surrendered severally and are currently being held in a secure centre, according to a source who spoke to AFP.
The source said they are 26 men, three women and a Nigerian woman.
“We have deserted Boko Haram because we found that what the organization stands for is not acceptable. Now we want the government to forgive us and help us,” an ex-fighter said on public television.
The government has assured that it will offer amnesty to the defectors from the region and they will undergo a de-radicalization programme and be enrolled in socio-economic reintegration projects, a source told AFP.
The defectors who are from the region are believed to have joined the jihadist group for monetary gains.