Insurgency: We have cleared, released 1,250 suspects of Boko Haram involvement-Army..

The Nigeria Army has said it cleared and released 1,250 persons hitherto thought to have links with Boko Haram.

General Officer Commanding 7 division of the Army,  Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, made the disclosure on Monday when the Head of Sub Delegation of ICRC, Beat Mosimann, paid him a visit him at the Maimalari cantonment in Maiduguri.

Ezugwu explained that the cleared suspects were released in seven batches after screening and cleared of having no link with Boko Haram.

“We are carrying out this regular release because the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, want us to ensure that it is only people who have contact and connection with Boko Haram 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 approach. 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 well-being; access to exercise and the best out of accommodation. We are hoping that things will get better in 2017”.

Earlier, Mosimann said that ICRC has mapped out several programmes in 2017 to assist IDPs who would soon be returning back to their respective liberated communities.

“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” he noted.

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