The Nigerian Army has yesterday handed over 65 rescued women and children from three Boko Haram hideouts in Bama and Dikwa Councils of Borno State after they were rescued in Operation Crackdown of the military in Sambisa Forest.
Handing over the hostages yesterday to Governor Kashim Shettima at the Theatre Command Headquarters in Maiduguri, the General Officer Commanding of 7 Division of Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, said the 65 hostages were rescued from Chingurimi, Masa and Wala villages in Bama-Dikwa axis.
Ezugwu said: “The essence of this handover ceremony by the military was to reunite our daughters and children with their families and other relations. But before then, each of them is to be counselled on the traumas and shocks they had gone through for over two years, while living with the insurgents in Sambisa Forest.
The military has already decimated the Boko Haram terrorists, which were operating in Sambisa Forest and other Riverine of Bama, before our troops successfully rescued these daughters and children being handed over to you today for counseling and rehabilitation.”
While receiving the hostages, Shettima said that the military has recorded tremendous successes in liberating more communities in Borno.
He added: “In as much we thank the military for their efforts at protecting lives and properties, even as they continue to rescue many hostages on a daily basis, while also fighting terrorists in the battle fields of Sambisa Forests and Northern Borno state.
“The rescued people are to be first isolated, before they are integrated into the society, because report reaching me indicates that the insurgents impregnated 12 of the girls.
Kori Abba Habib of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) also disclosed that out of the 38 rescued women, terrorists already impregnated 12.
Kori adds that the girls would need a lot of counseling, adding that one of the impregnated girls refused to eat for 24 hours, as she insisted on going back to her ‘husband’ in the forest.
She further disclosed that one of the impregnated girls also had a miscarriage yesterday at the Theatre Command Centre, where the handing over ceremony was conducted. “The impregnated girls are to be provided with maternal and child care, as most of them are teenagers, who were forcefully married out and impregnated by some of the insurgents,” said Kori.