Why we are studying Rwandan model to curb insurgency, by Borno govt

Borno State government has said that failure of the kinetic approach in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and desire to achieve genuine integration of both victims and former terrorists compelled it to understudy the Rwanda model.

It said that what is currently described as Borno model in addressing the challenges of rehabilitating victims and repented insurgents was a child of necessity, stressing that if the military cannot crush the terrorists, the use of non-kinetics method becomes necessary.

In separate interactions with The Guardian, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo and Special Adviser to Governor Babagana Zulum on Security, Gen. Abdullahi Sabi Ishaq (rtd), disclosed that some officials of the state were in Rwanda to understudy how the Southern African country achieved healing after its genocidal war.
Ishaq stated: “Talking about the Rwanda experience, as I speak with you, 10 of our team members are in Kigali to understudy the model in Rwanda and how they have come out of the crisis.

“So, currently, they are in Rwanda because we believe that the Rwanda model is a model that will be copied across the world. What happened in Rwanda is what has happened in Nigeria, in Borno State. Only that we are steps ahead of Rwanda because nowhere in the world that we have seen this kind of massive defection and no repercussion whatsoever. So, I agree with you that the Rwandan model is working.”

The retired General said that the Borno State government was not only interested in giving the victims of insurgency fish, but also teaching them how to fish so as to be able to stand on their own.

“It is just my comment on the aspect of the skills acquisition. It is a sustainable skills training, because we are equipping them properly so that when they leave those that excel in a particular skill, we empower them to continue with that skill. That is also done in partnership with the communities, traditional rulers, religious leaders, local council officials,” he declared.

Ishaq noted that having adopted the kinetic approach for more than 12 years, and it has not actually yielded the desired goals, Zulum upon mounting the saddle thought of changing the narrative through the non-kinetic aspect.

“What we have is the Borno model that is involving the communities to persuade the fighters to drop arms and embrace normal social life, which we started on July 5, 2021,” he added.

On her part, the state’s Commissioner for Women and Social Development, Hajiya Gambo, said the interesting aspect of the healing programme revolved around rendering psychological support to persons that have gone through traumatic experiences in the bush.

“Having lived out of normal community life, they come out aggressive, dirty, unkempt, but most importantly, with a disorganised mental state, especially when it comes to the issue of ideology.

“A lot of them are brought here having being exposed to all kinds of indoctrination. So, as a ministry, we have a well-equipped department that handles the psycho-social aspect. At the point of screening, we were able to identify those of them that needed even psychiatric attention and we were in partnership with the neural-psychiatric hospital in Maiduguri.

“When we identify and look at their mental needs, they are immediately addressed, because the population is made of women and children, and being the Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development, we are very thorough when we are looking into their challenges,” she noted.

Source: Guardian.ng

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