Nigerian Army Reports 370 Hostages Rescued from Boko Haram Insurgents; Week in Review

RESCUEDWith a reasonable number of points and locations under the threat of Boko Haram in the northern part of Nigeria for some period of time now, the Nigerian army allegedly was able to repel multiple attacks and the recover landmarks that were previously claimed by the Boko Haram Terrorist group (BHTG).

Addressing the press, Major General Lucky Irabor unveiled several developments as part of fulfilling the promise to keep the public informed on the activities of the troops in the aim of eradicating the issue of terrorism from the country under the Buhari administration.

General Irabor said, ” on the 17th of January 2016, Shentimari village was cleared by Nigerian troops of which 78 rounds of 7.2 mm ammunition was recovered from the deadly Boko Haram set”.

Chukun Gudu troops also destroyed the insurgents’ camp along the Jillam, Bula Butube area and killed ten terrorists and confiscated two AK47 rifles, two AK47 magazines, two solar panels and two GSMs  from the hideout of the sets. The operation was carried out on the 18th of January 2016.

20th January 2016, Ngwalimiri and Gazama village was set free by the Nigerian army in Danboa-bale channel of the local government area. The troops swept the enclaves and hideout of the set, which lead to the capturing of ten Boko Haram members coming into the village with a variety of food stuffs and other daily use material such as soaps.

In further developments, 21 terrorists were killed. Even though three Nigerian army members were injured, ten AK47 rifles, one FN rifle x 60 mm mortar bomb, three hundred and forty-two rounds of 12.7 mm, five hundred seven rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, one Toyota Hilux, one Land Cruiser vehicle and other materials such as charger were recovered from the terrorists. Three suspected Boko Haram who claimed to have been forced to join the group surrendered themselves for investigation.

On the 21st January 2016, ahead of the Cashew Plantation in Maiduguri, a suspect claimed the life of a civilian joint task force member, JTF,  in a struggle to gain access to the village but was shot dead by another JTF at about 5:19 pm in the evening. In reaction to this, troops cleared the insurgents that tried to attack from Dure leaving eight of the suspects dead, recovered several Ak47 rifles, a locally handmade Dane gun, rusty General multipurpose machine gun barrels and other ammunition.

On the 22nd January 2016, three suicide bombers tried to brake the Mafa roadblock, but were captured by Nigerian troops. One was shot dead instantly, while others were killed in the process of detonation.

General Lucky confirmed that 370 hostages have been rescued from strategic counter-attacks. He then advised the public to provide useful information that will aid the ongoing operation to end the insurgency.

Amnesty International Paints a Different Tale of Military Operations

Amnesty International’s report on the Nigerian army’s task force to dismantle the BHTG under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan is harrowing to say the least. As the report outlines mass executions are ordered for the sake of “counter-insurgency”, and the Nigerian army repeatedly carried out extrajudicial executions.

In addition, it was reported that the military randomly picks out men in various locations, sets them aside, and calls them Boko Haram!

We can only hope the same practices are not being used in the new administration.

Read the complete excerpt from the report

On 14 March, Boko Haram gunmen attacked the Giwa military barracks in the town of Maiduguri, freeing several hundred detainees. Witnesses said that as the military regained control of the barracks, more than 640 people, mostly unarmed recaptured detainees, were extrajudicially executed in various locations in and around Maiduguri. One of those executions, captured in footage, shows people who appear to be members of the Nigerian military and the Civilian Joint Task Force (“Civilian” JTF) using a blade to slit the throats of five detainees, before dumping them in an open mass grave. Nine people were killed this way and, according to witnesses, other detainees seen in the video were shot.

Nigerian security forces repeatedly carried out extrajudicial executions, often following the “screening” of suspects. For example, on 23 July 2013 the Nigerian armed forces and the “Civilian” JTF entered Bama central market and told all adult men in the vicinity to gather in one area and take off their clothes. The men were put into two groups – one group of around 35 men were designated, seemingly at random, as Boko Haram members and another group of up to 300 deemed to be innocent. A video showed the alleged Boko Haram members lying down side by side on the ground, being beaten with sticks and machetes by members of the military and “Civilian” JTF. Eyewitnesses confirmed that the 35 captives were loaded onto a single military vehicle and taken away to the local military barracks in Bama. On the afternoon of 29 July, military personnel took the men out of the barracks and brought them to their communities, where they shot them dead, several at a time, before dumping their bodies. All 35 captives were killed.