Tag: Nigerian Army

Second Chibok girl rescued, says Nigerian army

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This blurred photo is believed to show Serah Luka, the second Chibok girl reportedly rescued this week. Nigerian Army / Twitte

Nigeria’s army says that it has rescued a second Chibok schoolgirl, two days after rescuing Amina Ali Nkeki, 19, the first of the 219 kidnapped girls to be found alive.
“We are glad to state that among those rescued is a girl believed to be one of the Chibok Government Secondary School girls that were abducted on 14 April 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists,” said a statement issued by Acting Director of Public Relations, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman.

Serah Luka is believed to be the daughter of a pastor, says the statement, and is currently receiving medical attention at the medical facility of Abogo Largema Cantonment in Biu, Borno state.

But parents of the kidnapped Chibok girls and the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group have not been able to confirm the information.

Some 97 women and children held captive by Boko Haram were also rescued during the operation, near Shettima Aboh in the Damboa Local Government Area of Borno. Recent military operations by Nigerian forces have led to territorial gains and paved the way for reconstruction efforts.

But for hundreds of women and girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants, their ordeal did not end when they escaped, nor when Nigerian soldiers rescued them and reunited them with their families.

Instead of being admired for their bravery, many have become outcasts in their communities, stigmatised due to their perceived association with Boko Haram, reports humanitarian news agency IRIN.

Moreover, others – pregnant after rape by their captors – have been “shamed and are now accused of spawning or seeking to spawn future Boko Haram fighters,” continues IRIN.

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Ninety-seven women and children were rescued during the latest operation, near Shettima Aboh in Borno. Nigerian Army / Twitter

This bodes ill for the Chibok girls. One recent Christian returnee, Tabitha, told The Nation she had met some of them in her camp and that many have become Boko Haram fighters.
This all backs up Angelina Jolie’s message of “rape as a ‘policy’ aimed at terrorising and destroying communities”, which she repeated again this week when she gave a keynote address in London about the conflict and insecurity that are the root causes of the mass movement of refugees.

It’s a message she first spoke about in the UK Parliament last year.

“[Islamist groups such as] Islamic State are dictating [it] as policy … beyond what we have seen before,” said Jolie, a UN Special Envoy. The Hollywood actress said the groups know “it is a very effective weapon and they are using it as a centre point of their terror and their way of destroying communities and families, and attacking and dehumanising.”

Jolie earlier shared stories of girls she had met in war zones, who had been repeatedly raped and sold for as little as $40. In 2014, she co-hosted a global summit in London, attended by representatives from more than 100 countries, aimed at raising awareness and tackling the issue of sexual violence in conflict, especially rape as a weapon of war.

Meanwhile, the report, Our Bodies, Their Battleground: Boko Haram and Gender-Based Violence against Christian women and children in North-Eastern Nigeria since 1999, sheds light on Boko Haram’s ultra-Salafist ideology, which promotes the use of rape as a weapon.

It reveals how tremendously effective and efficient it is to focus attacks on women and girls – because the knock-on effects are devastating to the community. Entire families and Christian communities are thus “dishonoured”, regularly leading husbands to reject wives who are victims of rape, and embarrassment and shame for their children.

The fact that Christian women and children suffer at the hands of Boko Haram is a carefully calculated part of the movement’s multi-pronged front-line offensive, designed to intimidate the population into accepting political-religious change, points out the report.

The use of rape was also justified by Boko Haram militants on the basis of “sex as jizya”, a reference to a tax that early Islamic rulers demanded from their non-Muslim subjects for their own protection.

Source: World Watch Monitor



700 Boko Haram hostages freed in the past week. BBC report:

The Nigerian Military say that in the past week they have destroyed 100 insurgent camps and freed around 700 women and children who were being held captive by Boko Haram.

Footage from the Nigerian Air Force which was passed on to the BBC, shows footage of what appears to be Boko Haram militants fleeing as bombs are dropped from above, as well as women and children escaping.

After a three day journey in an open truck, the women and children eventually reached the safety of a government refugee camp. It was here that some spoke to BBC journalists about their ordeal at the hands of their captors.

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Some of the stories are truly shocking. We thank God for their release and the opportunity they now have to live in freedom once again. But please pray for their physical and psychological healing. Many of the women were in need of urgent medical attention, and thankfully they are now receiving that. But the mental scars may be the most difficult to deal with. Teams are being mobilised to try to help with the psychological trauma. Please pray for wisdom and divine guidance for all those who are now caring for and attempting to facilitate their recovery.

Identification of the women has been taking place and so far it seems that the Chibok girls aren’t among the groups that have been freed in the past week. However, operations are continuing so please continue to pray that all Boko Haram’s captives will soon be free.



Nigerian army frees more women and children from Boko Haram

Nigerian Military says at least 160 children and women rescued from the Sambisa Forest, days after 293 others were freed.

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One woman died and eight others were wounded as nine camps belonging to the Islamist insurgents were destroyed, army spokesman Col Sanu Usman said.

He told the BBC more than 100 men and boys were among more than 160 rescued in operations on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the army said it had freed nearly 300 women and children.

The girls abducted from a school in Chibok in April 2014 were not among them.

Col Usman told the BBC Hausa service that those rescued were being screened to ascertain their mental health and are being kept in an undisclosed secure location.

The eight injured women were in a critical condition, the spokesman said.

In an earlier statement, he said one soldier and several Boko Haram field commanders and foot soldiers had been killed in the fighting and several armoured vehicles, some with anti-aircraft guns, had been destroyed.

In total 13 camps had been destroyed in Sambisa this week, the colonel said.

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The Sambisa forest is said to be a huge area, surrounding a reserve of the same name.

It is not clear if those rescued were kidnapped or were taken hostage from villages taken over by the militants.

A local senator says the women and children are likely to have been residents of the north-eastern nature reserve.

“These are farming communities and most of those left behind in villages are the elderly ones, women and girls because the youth and the strong ones normally have to run or otherwise they will be conscripted into the Boko Haram insurgent group,” Ali Ndume told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

He said the Sambisa forest reserve is vast so it was difficult to know how many people were still living in territory controlled by the Islamist militants.

Source: BBC