How the fight against Boko Haram continues

At least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by the armed group since 2014. Many have escaped or been released as Boko Haram has fled a multinational offensive that began at the end of January. A month ago the Nigerian military began pounding the Sambisa Forest in air raids, an assault they said they had been avoided in the fear of killing the Chibok schoolgirls, or inciting their captors to kill them.

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“When we saw the soldiers we raised our hands and shouted for help. Boko Haram who were guarding us started stoning us so we would follow them to another hideout, but we refused because we were sure the soldiers would rescue us,”.

The Nigerian army rescued about 700 women and girls during the offensive against Boko Haram fighters in the north east of Nigeria. Before, almost 300 schoolgirls from Chibok had been abducted and taken into hostage. However, days after the rescue operation we know that the freed girls could not be identified as the missing schoolgirls.

The UN published shocking news: 214 of the women and girls rescued are pregnant. They were held as slaves and married against their will to Boko Haram fighters. The women reported about the terrible situation in the camp: raped, starved and injured.

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 They didn’t allow us to move an inch, if you needed the toilet, they followed you. We were kept in one place. We were under bondage.“

Asabe Aliyu, 23 years old, pregnant and now living in a refugee camp. She escaped Boko Haram. She has been abducted and taken hostage for 6 months. She reported about several rapes and abuses each day, malnutrition, disease and women that were seriously injured but without any help. “Some of them couldn’t even walk alone anymore, others died of their injuries or starved to death”, she’s telling the reporters.

Furthermore, the group has used girls and women as suicide bombers, sending them into crowded market places and elsewhere.

A bomb attack on a bus station in northern Nigeria has killed eight people and injured dozens more. Three bombs donated in the midst of the crowd at the bus station in the town of Gombe.

In conclusion, the Nigerian army finally has the courage to fight against Boko Haram. Even though dramatic news still overshadow the good ones, we hope to hear many more good news in the future.

Vanessa Nagel

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