Nigeria’s government has in the last week held its first indirect peace talks with Islamist sect Boko Haram, meeting mediators to discuss a possible ceasefire, political and diplomatic sources have told Reuters.
Two people close to Boko Haram have been carrying messages back and forth between the sect’s self-proclaimed leader Abubakar Shekau and government officials, the sources, who asked not to be named, said.
It was not clear whether any mediators met with President Goodluck Jonathan himself. A presidency spokesman said he could not immediately comment.
Boko Haram has said it wants to impose sharia, or Islamic, law across a country split equally between Christians and Muslims. The group has killed hundreds this year in bomb and gun attacks, mostly in the majority Muslim north of Africa’s top oil producer.