The Nigerian military have within the past one week rescued over 500 women and children from the claws of Boko haram following aggressive military action on the terrorists’ Sambisa camp.
The mind-boggling figure underlines the scale of the tactics of mass abduction employed by the militants, who according to Amnesty International have taken not less than 2,000 women and girls since the start of last year.
Female hostages who have regained freedom have described how they were subjected to forced labour, sexual and psychological abuse as well as sometimes having to fight on the frontline alongside the rebels.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to liberate all Nigerian territories held by the Boko Haram sect before the expiration of his tenure on May 29, 2015, and hand over a country completely free of terrorism to president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari. The promise came two days after 293 girls and women were rescued from the Sambisa Forest camp of the terrorists.
The President said this as he received a delegation of heads of Customs from the West and Central African Region of the World Customs Organisation, led by the Secretary-General of the organisation, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya.
TROOPS RESCUE 293 WOMEN AND CHILDREN FROM SAMBISA FOREST CAMP OF BOKO HARAM – Troops fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast have rescued no fewer than 200 girls and 93 women from Sambisa Forest, Borno State. The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, in a tweet on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, described the operation as ‘daring and precise,’ adding that its men continue to screen the women and girls to know where they are from.
The military also disclosed that three major terrorists camps were destroyed in the “well-coordinated attacks which saw the destruction of the notorious Tokumbere camp in the Sambisa Forest.”
Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, confirmed the operation; he could, however, not state categorically whether or not the girls were from Chibok.
Clearing the air on the identity of the girls rescued, the Borno state government said none of the girls were from Chibok; rather they are all indigenes of Bumsuri village in Damboa local government in the state.
ANOTHER 160 FREED FROM BOKO HARAM’S CLAWS – Nigerian troops rescued an additional 160 women and children from Boko Haram within days after they found hundreds of other hostages, the military said Thursday, April 30.
Confirming the rescue, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman said, “We are still working to verify the actual number of the rescued hostages, but I can say they include around 60 women and100 children.” Usman added that 160 is “An estimation because more are coming in as operations continue.”
YET ANOTHER 234 VICTIMS REGAIN FREEDOM…NUMBER OF RESCUED HOSTAGES CROSS 600 – The military has rescued 234 more women and children from a forested area of north-east controlled by
Boko Haram extremists, the Nigerian Defense Headquarters (DHQ) said on Saturday, May 2. The latest rescue, announced by the DHQ on Twitter, brings the total for the week to more than 677 females the Nigerian military claims to have rescued.
“FLASH: Another set of 234 women and children were rescued through the Kawuri and Konduga end of the #Sambisa Forest on Thursday,” a message on the official Twitter account of the Nigerian Defense Headquarters posted early Saturday, May 2 read.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for a self-defense group that fights the insurgents, Muhammad Gavi, said some of the hundreds of women and girls who were freed are pregnant. He cited information he got from some group members who have seen the females.