by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online
Nigeria’s army has confirmed that 200 girls and 93 women were rescued from a Boko Haram-occupied area on Tuesday.
The military operations ended in the seizure of three camps within the Sambisa Forest occupied by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.
Over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in the Nigerian town of Chibok in April last year, sparking a global outcry and passionate campaign with the message “Bring Back Our Girls”.
An army spokesman later announced that the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls were not among the rescued. Some of the girls sustained injuries, while some of the militants were killed. The Nigerian army launched operations late last week to reclaim territory from Boko Haram.
Despite the news, leaders of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign have expressed doubt over the rescue mission.
“Something that this particular rescue threw up for us is when were these people taken? When were the people rescued yesterday [Tuesday] abducted? Who are they? Were we ever informed or did our military not have an idea that this massive scale of Nigerian women had been taken hostage?” said Oby Ezekwesili, co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.
“This same quarters have come out severally to say that they’ve rescued girls, they’ve rescued women and all that, but sometimes we don’t get to confirm the authenticity of that news so we are waiting that they release an official statement and we will also do our verification process to be sure that indeed there’s been rescue of some women and girls,” said Bukky Shonibare, a media committee member of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.
The BBC reports that over 15,000 people have been killed since 2012 in result of the Boko Haram conflict.
Source: Reuters, BBC