World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigeria's government is reaching out to Boko Haram, talking with some of its members via "back room channels" as it seeks a peaceful way out of the north's conflict, the president's spokesman said on Sunday.
Reuben Abati, spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan, told journalists talks were going on with some members.
"The form of the dialogue is back room channels ... to reach across with the objective of understanding what exactly the grievances of these persons are, what exactly can be done to resolve the crises," he told press at the presidential villa.
"The available options are not solely military action and it is on the basis of this that he had reached out to leaders in the parts of the country that are affected," Abati said.
A group of governors from Nigeria's largely Muslim north set up a committee on Wednesday tasked with trying to talk to the Boko Haram.
Abati said: "Social programmes to transform lives, to create wealth, to ... create jobs and to engage young people more effectively," would aim to starve the sect of recruits.
The main faction led by Abubakar Shekau maintains, at least in public, that it will not engage in talks with the government.
The closest the Boko Haram have come to acknowledging talks was in March, when a former ally of Boko Haram's founder Mohammed Yusuf acted as a go-between. The initiative fell apart in days.
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The insurgents came in large numbers to raid the town and clashed with security forces in it
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Hossein Dehghan says Iran would intervene immediately if the holy sites in Iraq are threatened by ISIL or other armed groups
Nearly 5.3 million Tunisian voters are eligible to cast ballot in Sunday's election, which is billed as the country's first democratic presidential election.
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The dead were behind the killing of a member of the security forces last Sunday, a ministry spokesman said
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Modi has in recent weeks come under fire for being slow to rein in his hardline affiliate groups that are allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert