Nigeria sets up Islamic extremist amnesty group

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s government says it is setting up a committee that will create a way to offer an amnesty program to Islamic extremists in hopes of ending an insurgency across its north.

A statement Wednesday from Nigeria’s presidency identified a 26-person panel that would explore a possible deal with guerrilla fighters, including the Islamic extremist network Boko Haram and others. The presidency said it hoped to have a plan for an amnesty deal within 60 days.

It remains unclear how successful such a deal would be for fighters. A similar amnesty program in 2009 largely quelled fighting in the country’s oil-rich southern delta, though militants there eagerly wanted cash payouts. The leader of Boko Haram repeatedly has rejected the idea of an amnesty deal with the government in recent messages.

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