Nigeria’s Borno State to capture biometrics of nearly 7k ex-Boko Haram fighters
The Commissioner for Information and Internal Security in Nigeria’s North Eastern state of Borno, Usman A. Tar, said over the weekend that a biometric identification process has begun for 6,900 militants of the jihadist terrorist group, Boko Haram, who have dropped their weapons.
The repentant fighters are undergoing reformation at a rehabilitation center in the state under the Disarmament, Demobilization, Deradicalization, Rehabilitation, Reconciliation and Reintegration (DDDRRR) program involving different stakeholders.
A report which highlights an investigation by AFP reveals that there have been issues with the identification and screening process for some of the persons living in temporary rehabilitation camps.
In a statement cited by Punch, Tar said the identification process is taking place in six batches, and is conducted by a special team of IT and security experts to ensure confidentiality of the fingerprint biometrics and other data captured.
Boko Haram terrorism started in Borno in 2009. The state remains the most badly hit by the insurgency which has killed an estimated 35,000+ people in Nigeria alone.
Meanwhile, HumAngle reports that a protest by some of the repentant fighters on Friday August 18, disrupted the biometric registration process at a capture center.
The outlet mentions that the protesters blocked roads and chanted songs decrying their poor living conditions and slow reintegration into mainstream society.
It also quoted Tar as assuring that the situation, which he said was created by a miscommunication, had been handled, and the biometric capture process would go on as planned.
Nigeria’s previous government cited an improved capacity to handle national security threats as one of its motivations for carrying out the country’s universal identification project.