Another 237 women were rescued from Boko Haram insurgents by the Nigerian army on Thursday, bringing the total number of women rescued this week to 677. Soldiers were deployed in the Sambisa Forest region to raid insurgent camps and rescue the people kidnapped.
The good news has been conveyed through a tweet that said “FLASH: Another set of 234 women and children were rescued through the Kawuri and Konduga end of the #Sambisa Forest on Thursday,”. This was posted on the Nigerian Defence Headquarters’ official Twitter account on Saturday.
The question on everybody’s mind though is whether or not, among these 677 women who were rescued, are the 260 girls from the Chibok, who were kidnapped last year from a boarding school by Boko Haram insurgents, shocking people all around the world.
These girls have since then become a symbol of the violence unleashed by Boko Haram, and while, thousands of other people were kidnapped and killed since, it would be a moral victory to be able to find the Chibok girls. An online campaign was launched last year under the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, in order to raise awareness towards the atrocities committed by the Islamist extremists.
It is still unknown whether any of these girls from Chibok are among those saved this week, since the identification of the women is not yet complete. Moreover, these women are in a fragile physical and psychological state at the moment, many of them still under the influence of Stockholm Syndrome.
This means that while they were held captive in the extremists’ camps, some of the ideologies of the Boko Haram have become their own, as a result of the torture that they have faced. Therefore, they are very confused as to what is happening to them at the moment. It is to be noted that many of the girls and women have been pushed into forced marriages and as a result, they are pregnant.
Amnesty International made an appeal to the authorities “to ensure that the trauma of those ‘rescued’ is not exacerbated by lengthy security screening in detention.”
These military operations come to honor the promise made this Thursday by current Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, whose term will end this month, to “hand over a Nigeria completely free of terrorist strongholds.”.
However, Nigerian political analysts view this last action of the current President against Boko Haram as being “too little, too late”. They hold him guilty of not having acted on time and allowing the situation to get as bad as it has.
Meenwhile, the fact that another 237 women were rescued from Boko Haram, remains a victory in itself. Military operations are set to continue until the last insurgent camps of the Boko Haram are destroyed and all the prisoners are freed.
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