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In Nigeria, surprising news came today that a cease-fire has been reached between the government and militant group Boko Haram.
Jeffrey Brown has more.
Word of the unexpected truce came from Nigeria's official news agency.
The federal government and the Boko Haram sect have agreed to a cease-fire deal.
Similar announcements in the past failed to bear fruit. But this time, Nigeria's defense chief ordered government troops to halt all action against the militants. There was no immediate statement from Boko Haram.
It was also unclear whether a truce would mean the release of 219 schoolgirls abducted in April. They were among about 300 girls taken from this boarding school in the northeast town of Chibok and declared slaves. Dozens managed to escape. The fate of the others remains unknown.
Chika Oduah is a journalist reporting from Nigeria.
CHIKA ODUAH, Journalist:
What we know is that Boko Haram has promised not to attack civilians and Nigerian troops are not supposed to shoot at Boko Haram strongholds. So, that's what we have for now. As far as the Chibok girls, there are no details, but we do know that talks are ongoing until at least next week.
Boko Haram has carried out a wave of bombings and suicide attacks over the past five years in a campaign to create an Islamic caliphate in northeastern Nigeria. Tens of thousands of people have died.
That and what's been perceived as the Nigerian government's ineffective response has fed a deep public skepticism, as "NewsHour" special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro found on a recent trip.
Sheik Abdur Rahman is the imam of a prominent Islamic charity.
SHEIK ABDUR RAHMAN:
How can you move 300 girls, almost 300 girls, you know, in a state or in a region where you have declared a state of emergency, and nobody challenged the movement of the vehicles?
Dozens of other girls, boys and adults have also been carried away, as Yemisi Ransome-Kuti points out. She's a longtime activist from a prominent Nigerian family.
YEMISI RANSOME-KUTI, Nigerian Activist:
Kidnapping is going on almost on a daily basis in the north, not just girls, but boys being recruited into the Boko Haram militia system.
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