International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Nigerian Soldiers Rescue Approximately 300 Girls from Boko Haram

Nigerian soldiers rescued approximately 300 girls from the notorious terrorist group, Boko Haram. The girls were found in the Sambisa Forest in northern Nigeria, where the militants have been known to use the dense coverage to set up their bases. Although rescuing these 300 girls and women was a substantial victory for the Nigerian army, the 200 Chibok schoolgirls, who were kidnapped just over a year ago and whose disappearance prompted a massive international outcry and subsequent social media campaign for their return, remain missing. A CNN correspondent reported that neither the international community nor the Nigerian military or government have “any idea where the girls are or were.” Many have speculated that the girls have been broken up into smaller groups used as suicide bombers, or have been given in “marriage” — or sex slavery — to Boko Haram fighters. Unconfirmed eyewitnesses have reported that they saw the girls being taken by boat across Lake Chad into Cameroon, and a community leader who had attempted to organize their release said that Boko Haram told him that at least three had died while in captivity.

Despite a huge domestic and international push to return the 200 Chibok girls safely to their families, these efforts have been largely futile and have thrown the Nigerian government’s weaknesses into high relief. Even this recent rescue of the kidnapped girls was relatively disorganized; when a Nigerian soldier described the operation, he said, “we stumbled on some girls and may find more.” Despite the best intentions of the army and international community, the pervasive rhetoric and social media presence that has raised awareness about the Chibok kidnappings remains largely ineffective at bringing them home.


One response to “Nigerian Soldiers Rescue Approximately 300 Girls from Boko Haram

  1. lsundstr May 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Just days after rescuing hundreds of women and girls from a remote Boko Haram camp in Northern Nigeria, the Nigerian military reported saving an additional 100 girls and 60 women at a different militant camp in the Sambisa Forest on Thursday. Since their initial finding of those being held hostages at the terrorist group’s base camps on Tuesday of this week, Nigerian troops have continued to move through the Forest, and so far destroyed more than nine militant camps in their search for more detainees. An army spokesman, Sani Usman, has noted that the 160 figure from the latest rescue effort is just an estimation, since more victims are being found as military operations throughout the forest continue. While the recent efforts of the Nigerian Military have saved hundreds of women and girls from the radical Islamist group, this only represents a fraction of the thousands that have been abducted by Boko Haram and remain in detention, including the Chibook schoolgirls.


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