Nigeria Army Rescues Hundreds of Girls from Boko Haram Camps


On 28th April, 2015, the Nigeria Army rescued two hundred girls and ninety three women during a military operation to regain the Sambisa Forest from the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group. The group (the girls and the women) was rescued on Tuesday afternoon from Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa Forest. The troops also captured and destroyed three camps including the notorious Tokumbere camp in the Sambisa Forest operation.

There have been speculations that the two hundred girls rescued by the Nigeria Army could be part of the abducted Chibok girls in April, 2014. However, the Director of Defense Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, responded with caution, “I can only confirm the rescue this afternoon of 200 girls and 93 women in different camps in the forest. We are yet to determine their origin as all the freed persons are now being screened and profiled. Please don’t misquote me on their origin. We will provide more details later.”

Boko Haram insurgents are known to be notorious for their violence against humanity. They controlled an area roughly the size of Belgium at the start of the year, but has since been defeated by Nigerian troops supported by Chad, Niger and Cameroon forces. Boko Haram Islamic has claimed responsibilities for the killing of nearly 20,000 people and has displaced over 1.5 million people for the past six years of their operations in Nigeria. It could be recalled that the Nigerian forces supported by warplanes invaded the vast former colonial game reserve late last week as part of a push to regain territory from the terrorist group.

Here lies the dynamics of counterterrorism operations. While the Nigerian army maintains that Boko Haram is now hemmed in Sambisa Forest, militants have managed to launch more attacks including chasing soldiers out of Marte town and on an island on Lake Chad. On April 25, Boko Haram attacked the Karamga Island on Lake Chad that left 48 Nigerien Security Forces dead. According to Per Second News from Abuja, the US government released a statement saying “We condemn the violent actions of Boko Haram and its continued disregard for human life. Boko Haram has perpetrated countless unprovoked attacks on men, women, and children in their homes, schools, places of worship, and businesses. Their brutality and barbarism know no bounds. The United States is committed to supporting the efforts of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to help the countries of the region increase their capabilities to degrade and destroy Boko Haram. We commend efforts by the African Union and Lake Chad Basin Commission countries and Benin to stand up the MNJTF”.

As an alternative approach to militarization, citizens should learn the principle of peaceful cohabitation, gentle and polite manners of expressing their concerns even in the most grievous situation. While citizens learn to be loyal and honest to their governments or leaders while exercising their rights and performing their duties, governments should also commensurate with good governance, unquenchable desires to achieve peace, security and the development of its citizens. Absolute peace is not a myth, but a reality that is realistic and achievable.

Oyewole Oginni
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