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Nigeria seeks to learn Boko Haram issues

ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Nigerians should not be concerned about government attempts to reach out to Boko Haram, a group blamed for much violence in the country, an official said.

Dr. Reuben Abati said there are no direct talks with the militants but negotiators are using "backroom channels" to reach them, Nigeria's Guardian reported.

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"I think a lot of people are under the impression that the dialogue involves a situation whereby government officials are sitting on one side, Boko Haram persons are sitting on the other side in an air-conditioned room and there are negotiations across the table," Abati said Sunday.

Indirect efforts were being used, he said, to contact and identify the leaders of the group "with the sole objective of understanding what exactly the grievances of these persons are, what exactly can be done to resolve the crises."

Unrest in Nigeria is at least partly caused by high levels of joblessness amongt the country's young workers, the president of the Anglican Youth Fellowship said Sunday.

Adegboyega Adebunmi called on the government to initiate policies that would allow more young people to be self-employed.

"Our education must tend towards discouraging white collar jobs but promote self-sustained employment. If our youths are gainfully employed, they might not have time for Boko Haram activities," he said.

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