293 Women and Girls Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria

by Philip Obaji Jr, The Daily Beast It is perhaps the best-received news ever announced by the Nig...


by Philip Obaji Jr, The Daily Beast
It is perhaps the best-received news ever announced by the Nigeria Defense Headquarters—that 293 women and girls have been rescued by Nigerian troops from Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa forest.


In various social media platforms, Nigerians are celebrating the news as if the war against terror had been won. They are giving rare applause to the military, which so many have criticized for being too laid-back.

“That 200 Girls and 93 women who were captives of the savages of Sambisa Forest are now rescued by our Military is best news for today,” an excited Oby Ezekwesili, convener of the Bring Back Our Girls movement, wrote on her Twitter handle.

“We rejoice for news of rescue of several of our female citizens from Sambisa forest by our military,” she added.

None of the Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram almost exactly a year ago were among those rescued. Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman said troops destroyed and cleared four militant camps in the rescue, but “but they are not the Chibok girls.”

The news, though, appears to bolster hopes for the girls’ return.

Tuesday’s rescue occurred during a mission to wrest back control of the Sambisa forest from Boko Haram. Officials say the forest is the group’s last major hideout.

“The military has only gone 25 kilometers [about 26 miles] into the forest as we speak and there’s still another 50 square kilometers [about 19 square miles] to cover in Sambisa, so having already found these girls is a great sign,” said a Nigerian Army colonel involved in the mission.

The rescued girls and women will be screened on Wednesday to determine whether they had been abducted or if they were married to the militants, one intelligence source said.

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