“In Nigeria, we don’t want them back”: Amnesty, Defectors’ Programs, leniency measures, informal reconciliation, and punitive responses to Boko Haram

This report analyses the limitations, human rights violations, and counterproductive effects of the heavy-handed Nigerian military response to Boko Haram. It also looks at the multiple attempts at negotiating with Boko Haram, discussions of a possible amnesty, and the design and effects of leniency measures the Nigerian government has adopted, including a defectors program for “repentant” low-risk male combatants (known as Operation Safe Corridor) and a rehabilitation program for “low-risk” women, such as those married to Boko Haram fighters. Both the discussions of amnesty and the existing leniency programs have emerged out of a recognition that the counterinsurgency campaign has struggled and frequently conflated perpetrators with victims.