A security analyst and counter-terrorism expert, David Otto, has revealed some persons that participated in the negotiation that successfully saw the release of 82 Chibok girls by the Islamic insurgents, Boko Haram.
Otto made the revelation while fielding questions from UK based newspaper, IBTimes on how the girls, who have been in captive for over two years, were released.
The security expert noted that, “The process of negotiation with groups like Boko Haram is very complex and stressful and requires a varied number of actors working together and playing different, but key roles to realise the desired outcome.”
He added that “The Switzerland representative played an active role in organising negotiations from within Nigeria and outside Nigeria along with local key actors like Barrister Zannah Mustapha and [human rights activist and lawyer] Asiha Wakil who wield trust due to their pre-existing relationships with one or more factions.”
The Nigerian government, having admitted that some Boko Haram members were release in the deal that brought out the girls, is miserly in releasing more details of the negotiations as little is known about the identity of the prisoners.
However, Otto, who said his company TGS Consulting was involved in negotiations, added that the prisoners are “influential Boko Haram commanders.”
He disclosed, “Their roles have never been officially established except that Boko Haram require[d] their release in exchange.”