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Military set to prosecute 886 Boko Haram fighters
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Military set to prosecute 886 Boko Haram fighters 

The Nigerian military said it has concluded arrangement to prosecute over 886 radical fighters of the Boko Haram terrorists group, as the counter insurgency war has continued to yield very positive results in its renewed operations to wipe out terrorism in the country.

This is just as another 323 terrorist ex-combatants, who willingly gave up their arms to embrace peace are currently undergoing the Federal Government’s programme on De-Radicalisation, Demobilisation and Rehabilitation, (DDR) in Gombe State.

Theatre Commander, North East Joint Operation, Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa, who made the disclosure, said over 82, 237 terrorists and their families have so far surrendered to troops in various locations in the northeast since July 2021.

Gen. Musa, who described the 886 detained Boko Haram terrorists as “hardened”, said arrangements have been concluded to transfer them to Giwa Project at Kainji, in Niger State, for prosecution.

He also said a total of 180, out of the 276, kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls in 2014 have been rescued, while 96 of the girls are still unaccounted for, adding that soldiers have so far rescued 2,018 abducted persons, comprising 339 adult males, 660 adult females and 1,019 children, in the last one year.

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The theatre commander spoke through the Acting Theatre Intelligence Coordinator, Colonel Obinna Azuike, while briefing journalists on the successes so far recorded in the ongoing counter insurgency operations.

He said: “Out of the surrendered persons, 16,577 were active male fighters, 24,499 are women, while 41,161 are children. So far, over 2,018 abducted people, comprising 339 adult males, 660 adult females and 1,019 children have been rescued by troops in the last one year.

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“Information obtained from detailed debriefings of the surrendered terrorists are being continually factored into the operations of the theatre. Such debriefings are routinely undertaken as more fighters continue to surrender in their numbers.

“Also, the commencement of a comprehensive Disarmament, De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration programme by the Borno State government, in conjunction with international organisations and Op Safe Corridor, will positively encourage the surrender of more people and will be a catalyst to the ongoing peace process.”

Giving an update of the number of the kidnapped school girls from Government Secondary School Chibok, so far rescued by soldiers, the theatre commander said: “Troops of OPHK have, within this year alone, rescued 11 of the abducted 2014 GGSS Chibok girls. The first of the girls, Hauwa Joseph, was intercepted along with her child at Ngazua in Bama, on June 12, 20 22 by troops of OPHK.

“Secondly, Miss Mary Dauda was rescued along with her child at Gava in Gwoza LGA of Borno State on June 14, 2022, by own troops.

“Similarly, on June 27, 2022, the third Chibok girl, named Ruth Bitrus, and her child escaped from Ukuba BHT camp in Sambisa and were rescued by our troops in Bama. On July 25, 20 22, troops also rescued two Chibok girls, named Kauna Luka and Hanatu Musa, with their children, at Aulari in the Bama general area.

“Also, the sixth Chibok girl, named Aisha Grema (pregnant), with her four-year-old child was rescued by troops in Bama on August 12, 20 22. Aisha Grema hails from Mbalala village in Chibok LGA. The seventh Chibok girl to be rescued this year was Falmata Lawal and her child, who was rescued by our troops in the Bama general area on August 30, 2022. Miss Falmata Lawal hails from Chigi village in Chibok LGA.

He said: “On September 1, 2022, troops also rescued Miss Asabe Ali and her child who escaped from a BHT camp in Gazuwa, Bama LGSA. Also, the ninth Chibok girl rescued was Miss Jinkai Yama, along with three of her children in Bama on September 2, 2022.

“Additionally, Miss Yana Pogu was the 10th girl rescued along with her four children, while Miss Rejoice Senki was rescued with her two children.

“The rescued girls were handed over to the Borno State government after comprehensive medical examination and initial provision of psycho-social support from the Theatre. The statistics of the 276 abducted Chibok school girls indicates that 57 girls escaped in 2014, 107 girls released in 2018; three recovered in 2019; two recovered in 2021 and 11 girls rescued, so far, in 2022.

“This brings to a total 180 Chibok girls out of captivity, remaining 96 girls still unaccounted for. At present, over 2,018 persons, comprising 339 adult males, 660 adult females and 1,019 children have been rescued from terrorists’ captivity within the year. The Theatre Command OPHK will continue in its quest to rescue other persons held in captivity.

Additionally, the centre is currently partnering with the Lake Chad Basin Support Programme to establish a database for the preservation of battlefield evidence, forensic investigations, and capacity building for personnel.

“This would address the inherent challenges associated with the prosecution of suspected terrorists. Also, the centre has introduced basic education and skill acquisition programmes for minors and adult detainees, in a bid to keep them engaged, useful and valued.

“Physical training exercises and the ability to re-establish and restore family links with their loved ones is also being conducted in the centre, in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). These developments have yielded very positive results among the suspects and equally attracted commendations from other partnering organisations.”

Speaking on the humanitarian conditions at the holding centres, he said: “The current humanitarian situation across the holding centres has remained relatively calm since the cholera outbreak of September this year. The epidemic resulted in the death of 62 men, 44 women and 96 children, bringing to a total of 202 deaths.

“Nevertheless, the situation has since been brought under control, with efforts from the Ministry of Health and several NGOs in the state.”

(Sun)

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