Nigeria sets trial date for 1,600 suspects from Boko Haram
The trials of 1,600 members of the Nigerian Boko Haram group, who have been detained in military camps across the country, will begin next month, the Justice Ministry said on Sunday.

"Everything is ready to recite the indictments of the suspected members of Boko Haram in various prisons in the country," the ministry said in a statement.

The operation is scheduled to begin on October 9 and then 1,600 detainees will be tried. The Judicial Assistance Council will appoint lawyers to defend the suspects. Nigerian Justice Minister Abu Bakr Mallami has referred the cases to several prosecutors.

Judges were selected to consider the cases "immediately" and Nigerian security forces confirmed they had arrested thousands of Boko Haram suspects but prosecutions and trials remained rare.

The Ministry of Justice said inadequate investigations and logistical problems were the cause of the delay in prosecution. The case of Khalid al-Barnawi, leader of Ansar Islamic Group, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, is the most important now that he was blacklisted in the United States until his arrest in Nigeria In April 2016, he was formally charged with kidnapping and killing ten foreigners.

The army and the Nigerian government consider Boko Haram to be weak and to expel the rebels two years ago from most of the territory they seized in 2014 to establish an "Islamic Caliphate." But despite their capabilities, attacks and suicide attacks continue.

The bloody conflict in the Lake Chad region has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million people since the militant group took over in 2009.

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