International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

293 Women and Girls Rescued from Boko Haram

On Tuesday the 28th, the Nigerian military raided several Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa Forest in northeastern Nigeria. After an initial series of unsuccessful operations rebels due to defensive explosives placed by Boko Haram militants residing in the forest, the Nigerian Armed forces successfully raided and destroyed the Tokumbre, Sassa, and Tlafa terror camps. Of these three, Tokuumbre is the most notorious, as it is the known location for the training of child soldiers.

In these raids, Nigerian Army spokesman Gen Chris Olukolade details that 200 girls and 93 women were rescued, but none belonged to the group of kidnapped girls from Chibok. Following the abduction of around 200 school girls from Chibok, the campaign of #BringBackOurGirls has lead to a large scale, world wide awareness of Boko Haram’s kidnappings and horrific mistreatment of women. While there was much hope that some of the rescued belonged to the group of kidnapped school girls as the Sambisa Forest is close to Chibok, this offensive against Boko Haram has given many hope that more captives will be found in the near future.

As the Nigerian military continues to gain ground in the fight against Boko Haram, it will be interesting to see if they call upon the ICC should there be any prosecutions against Boko Haram perpetrators. While it may be an option to try Boko Haram officials on an international stage at the Hague, the Nigerian government may also desire under the law of complementarity to host future trials within the country. Either way, it is the hope that Nigeria, in coalition with other countries, continues with victories against Boko Haram and removes the terrorist group as a powerful actor within West Africa.


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