Uncategorized August 03, 2016 at 09:00 am

Boko Haram Still Holding Thousands of Women and Children in Northeast Nigeria

Mark Babatunde August 03, 2016 at 09:00 am

August 03, 2016 at 09:00 am | Uncategorized

Boko Haram jihadists have abducted thousands of women and children during its campaign of violence. Silverbird TV

Reports say Islamist group Boko Haram is still holding thousands of women and children hostage in its last enclave deep in northeastern Nigeria’s Sambisa Forest. The women and children most of whom were abducted from their villages by the terror group suffer hunger and deprivation.

A new escapee from Sambisa Forest recently revealed to Sahara Reporters that the Boko Haram insurgents are secretly moving an undisclosed number of women and children across the Nigerian border into the Chad Republic. The source said that the Boko Haram amirs (leaders) and their wives live in underground tunnels inside the forest.

The abductees endure much suffering at the hands of the terrorist group, the escapee reported, with many dying daily due to widespread hunger and starvation. The latter is due to intensified military operations by the Nigerian authorities that have cut off crucial logistics supply lines to the insurgents.

While the story of the “Chibok girls” who were abducted from their school dormitories by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014 attracted much-deserved international attention, it often goes unsaid by global media outlets that several thousands more were abducted by the jihadist group at the height of its violent reign. In 2015, the jihadist group seized territory nearly the size of the US state of Virginia, pledged its allegiance to ISIS, and declared a caliphate in northeastern Nigeria.

In the months following President Muhammadu Buhari’s election, however, Nigerian armed forces stepped up the campaign against Boko Haram insurgents in a joint operation with the neighbouring countries of Niger, Cameroun, and the Chad Republic. The military campaign by the Nigerian authorities has effectively recovered nearly all territories from the insurgents.

They are now holed up in their last stronghold deep in the Sambisa Forest. From there, they continue to launch classic guerrilla attacks mostly on soft targets, using hapless children as suicide bombers. On July 28, for example, Boko Haram jihadists attacked a United Nations convoy involved in distributing vital humanitarian aid to the internally displaced people affected by their crusade of violence and terror.

Although the convoy was escorted by Nigerian military along the way from Bama to Maiduguri, they were ambushed by the terrorists in the village of Kawuri. The attack injured one UNICEF employee and an IOM contractor.

As a result of the attack, the United Nations has temporarily suspended its personnel from travelling to what it calls “high risk areas” while promising to scale up its humanitarian operations in the affected areas.

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