Nigerian Troops Free 234 More Women And Girls Hostages From Boko Haram
The Nigerian army seems to have gotten something finally right, as far as their fight to contain and extinguish the Boko Haram terror is concerned. Following the Tuesday announcement by the army that they were successfully able to secure the release of 200 Girls & 93 women from the Islamist militia. The army made another statement on Thursday this week that they secured the release of 234 more women and girls hostages from Boko Haram.
The second operation was still within the Sambisa Forest, in Borno State. According to the defense headquarters, the second operation was done through the Kawuri and Konduga end of the Sambisa Forest. The Nigerian Government, which has been criticized by the international and local community for being incompetent to deal with the Boko Haram menace. Has within the past week managed to secure the release of over 500 women and girls.
The second lot of released hostages have joined the first lot in an ongoing screening exercise currently being undertaken by the military.
In a statement the Nigerian military said: “The assault on the forest is continuing from various fronts and efforts are concentrated on rescuing hostages of civilians and destroying all terrorist camps and facilities in the forest.”
Some of the female former hostages said that they were forced to work and sexually and psychologically abused by their captures. Sometimes they were even forced to fight on the frontline alongside the terrorists. It has also emerged that some of the women and girls are already pregnant.
Amnesty International has called on the Nigerian authorities “to ensure that the trauma of those rescued is not exacerbated by lengthy security screening in detention.”
Pictures released by the military shows the rescued women and girls huddled in a group with Nigerian soldiers keeping guard. Their location was, however, not disclosed.
It has not yet been verified if the Chibok girls, kidnaped on April 2014 were among the second lot of hostages to be rescued from the Boko Haram. Col. Sani Usman had previously confirmed that the Chibok girls were also not among the first lot of hostages that were rescued on Tuesday.
It was the kidnapping of the said Chibok girls that brought Nigeria into a negative international limelight. The then President, Jonathan Goodluck was highly criticized for not doing enough to curb the Islamist militia and free the Chibok girls. Many political experts believe that the six-year-long Boko Haram operation led to the defeat of former President Jonathan in the March 28, 2015 Presidential Election. The Islamist militia are said to have slaughtered 13,000 lives and displaced 1.5 million people from their homes.
The new incoming Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who is due to take office on May 29th, 2015, vowed to crush Boko Haram.