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Repentant B’Haram Fighters May Be Denied US Visa, Says Ex-envoy — Africa Daily News

A former American ambassador to Nigeria, James Campbell, says it will be difficult for the United States to issue a visa to a repentant Boko Haram member.
Campbell, however, said individual visa applications would be handled on their respective merit.

The former US envoy said this during a chat with on Thursday.

He said, “Visa eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Consular officers are usually concerned with whether the applicant will return to his country of origin before his visa expires, and whether the applicant is a security risk. As a practical matter, a ‘repentant’ terrorist would have to meet a high bar. Lying on a visa application makes an applicant ineligible.”

The US Government had told last year that it was assisting Nigeria in rehabilitating repentant terrorists as part of a broader joint Nigeria and US strategy to counter violent extremism.

It said it was assisting Nigeria through the International Organisation for Migration.

It said in an email, “The US government assists the Government of Nigeria’s Disarmament, Demobilisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration programme through the International Organisation for Migration – which supports Nigeria’s Operation Safe Corridor programme to carry out DDRR of repentant and eligible ex-combatants who were formerly affiliated with a terrorist organisation.”

Over 601 repentant terrorists graduated from Operation Safe Corridor in Gombe State last year, most of whom had been integrated into the society despite warnings from security experts.

 “The United States has supported Nigeria’s efforts towards effective disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration of former affiliates as an important element of the broader joint Nigerian and US strategy to counter violent extremism,” the US had said.

A large section of Nigerians have condemned the plan of the Federal Government to reintegrate repentant terrorists into the society while millions of victims of terrorism remain displaced.

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