Nigerian troops have rescued 200 girls and 93 women held by Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest, according to the Nigerian Armed Forces’ Twitter account.
FLASH: Troops this afternoon rescued 200 girls & 93 women from #Sambisa Forest. We cannot confirm if the #ChibokGirls are in this group /1
— DEFENCE HQ NIGERIA (@DefenceInfoNG) April 28, 2015
The army’s tweets also say they destroyed three terrorist camps and are in the process of screening and identifying the freed girls and women. It is not yet clear whether any of the girls rescued in this latest mission were part of the contingent of Chibok girls kidnapped more than a year ago, whose abductions inspired the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
The newly elected Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari won the executive seat in part because of widespread dissatisfaction with how the previous president, Goodluck Jonathan, dealt with Boko Haram. Many believed endemic corruption and lack of political will stymied the Nigerian government’s ability to quash Boko Haram terrorism, and that Jonathan’s administration was insufficiently committed to finding the kidnapped Chibok girls. Buhari, who takes office on 29 May, has struggled to strike the right balance between pledging resources to find the girls and battle Boko Haram, and managing the hopes and expectations of his own constituents and the global community. His administration, Buhari wrote in an op/ed for The New York Times, ‘must begin with honesty as to whether the Chibok girls can be rescued.’
‘Currently their whereabouts remain unknown,’ Buhari wrote. ‘We do not know the state of their health or welfare, or whether they are even still together or alive. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them: to do so would be to offer unfounded hope, only to compound the grief if, later, we find we cannot match such expectation. But I say to every parent, family member and friend of the children that my government will do everything in its power to bring them home.’
This article was originally published on Cosmopolitan.com