Lagos, Nigeria - The violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, which has killed over 3,000 people in gun and bomb attacks in Nigeria since 2009, on Monday declared an immediate ceasefire.
A man claiming to be the spokesman for the sect, Mohammed Abdulaziz Ibn Idris, announced the ceasefire to journalists in the northern city of Maiduguri, believed to be the spiritual base of the sect, saying it takes immediate effect.
'We hereby call on all members of the Jama'al Ahlis Sunnah Lil Da'awati Wal Jihad to please lay down their arms and observe a ceasefire of hostilities for now,' he said.
The spokesman said the ceasefire order came from the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shelau, following talks between the sect and the government.
He said the ceasefire would pave the way for 'proper dialogue' between the sect and the government.
It is not yet clear how effective the directive will be, considering that the sect has broken into factions over the years.
The spokesman acknowledged the factionalisation of the sect, but said it would not affect the ceasefire.
'We are still the same group, although we have some minor divisions. By and large, we will achieve our aim of an immediate ceasefire in spite of the divisions,' he said.
The spokesman's statement cannot yet be independently confirmed.