DIFFA, NIGER, 11 JULY 2018 – Seventeen suspected members of the violent Islamist movement Boko Haram have been sentenced to jail terms ranging from two to seven years in Niger.

Twenty-one other suspects were released at the end of a trial which last six days, according to a senior state prosecutor, Chaibou Samna.

The trial took place in the southeastern region of Niamey’s Diffa.

The accused included nationals from three countries: Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Most of them were captured during fighting, according to officials in Niger, or during security operations carried out within the framework of a state of emergency imposed on the Diffa region.

Since December 2016, an estimated 200 nationals of Niger have surrendered to officials in Niger claiming to be former Boko Haram fighters. An amnesty allows those who surrender to undergo a demobilization and reintegration program.

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