Military forces have rescued 241 women and children kept captive by Boko Haram.
Some girls who previously escaped Boko Haram, and who have bravely returned to school. These are not the rescued schoolgirls found to be pregnant. (Photo: Getty Images)
The raids took place on Tuesday and destroyed both camps, army spokesman Col. Sani Usman told Nigerian newspaperPunch.
CNN reports the raids also resulted in the arrests of 43 Boko Haram militants including local leader Bulama Modu.
The rescue mission is wonderful news, particularly following more than a year of searching and hoping for the safe return of the abducted school girls from the village of Chibok — a horrifying incident that sparked the #bringbackourgirls hashtag and protests across the world.
It’s not yet clear, however, whether any of the Chibok school girls abducted in April 2014 are among the newly rescued women and children.
This is not the first time a group of Boko Haram hostages has been released: In May this year, 293 women and girls were rescued after the military captured three insurgent camps inside the Sambisa Forest in the country’s northeast.
Days later, a further 234 women and girls were rescued from the group — although in an unsettling twist of events, it transpired that at least 91 percent of that second group of rescued women and girls were pregnant.
As a United Nations report revealed, all but 20 of the 234 women and girls had visible baby bumps.
Some of the Chibok schoolgirls who previously escaped their Boko Haram Islamist captors. (Photo: Getty Images)
Those women’s pregnancy follows reports that women and girls kidnapped by the insurgents are routinely raped and forced to marry Boko Haram fighters, according to International Business Times.
The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, has said in a video released in November: “The issue of the girls is long forgotten because I have long ago married them off.”
In another chilling video released in May 2014, Shekau boastingly announced that he planned to treat the captured girls like “slaves”. He said:
“I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will sell them off and marry them off. There is a market for selling humans… I will marry off a woman at the age of 12. I will marry off a girl at the age of nine…
Some young girls in the Northern part of Nigeria
Women are slaves. I want to reassure my Muslim brothers that Allah says slaves are permitted in Islam.”
There is no word yet on how many, if any, of the newly rescued women and children are pregnant.
Boko Haram in March pledged allegiance to Islamic State, which which rules a self-declared “caliphate” in areas of Syria and Iraq.
Boko Haram, whose name translates to “Western education is forbidden,” wants to establish a caliphate of its own in Nigeria.
Extract from: http://www.mamamia.com.au