As many as 5,000 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly, were rescued from the hands of Boko Haram terrorist last week, March 15, 2017. This is a result of a week-long crackdown on the hideout of the terrorists by the Regional Forces, which is a combined military effort of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger.
“The hostages freed consisted mostly of women, children and the elderly ” Cameroon’s communication minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary told a news conference. The operation code-named “Thunder 2” led to the liberation of more than 5,000 people taken hostage by the terrorist group.
The operation was carried out in the mandara mountains along the Nigeria – Cameroon border between February 26 and March 7. This led to the recovery of some properties belonging to the terrorist, including 50 bicycles, weapons, and motorcycles. They also destroyed a fuel deposit belonging to the terrorist group.
According to the communication minister, no soldiers were killed in the operation, although one sustained injury. “More than 60 terrorist were killed” he said, adding that “21 suspect were arrested”.
Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group based in northeastern Nigeria, but they are also active in countries along the lake Chad area. The group is said to have links to Al-Qaeda in the middle east. In March 2015, the leader Abubakar announced the group allegiance to the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant. Since they started their full operation in 2009, more than 25,000 people had been killed and about 2.3 million people had fled their homes. According to a global terrorism index, Boko Haram is the world’s deadliest terror group.
The world’s attention was drawn to the kidnap of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state, Nigeria in April 2014 and Boko Haram claimed responsibility and also announced their intention to sell them into slavery.
The terrorist group seeks the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria and has strongly oppose the westernization of the Nigerian society.
In 2011, Boko Haram was responsible for 115 attacks in various part of Northern Nigeria, especially the northeast,which is the base of their operations. Also in 2013, Boko Haram increased their operations in Northern Cameroon where they were responsible for a number of killings and kidnapping.
The US Bureau of counterterrorism provides the following summary of Boko Haram operations in 2013: “In February 2013, Boko Haram was responsible for kidnapping seven French tourist in Cameroon. In November 2013, Boko Haram members kidnapped a French priest in Cameroon. In December, Boko Haram gunmen reportedly attacked civilians in several areas of Northern Cameroon. Security forces from Chad and Niger also reportedly partook in skirmishes against suspected Boko Haram members along Nigeria borders. In 2013, the group also kidnapped eight French citizens in northern Cameroon and obtained ransom payments for their release”
According to a United Nations report, 7 million people risk starvation owing to insecurity. The UN security Council earlier said that it will focus attention on a “neglected crises” affecting people in the lake Chad region that straddles Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
The world awaits the intervention of the UN security Council and hopes for a lasting solution to end the insurgency.