Nigerian troops move into Sambisa with eyes set on rescuing Chibok girls
Nigeria's military is moving into the the northeastern Boko Haram hideout in the Sambisa forest and is focusing operations on areas it believes more than 200 abducted schoolgirls from Chibok are being held.
“Presently, the military is moving into the Sambisa forest after taking Alagarno, Gwoza, Bama, Malam Fatori, Abadam, among others,” Mike Omeri, an Abuja-based government spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. “Our intelligence indicates that the present military operation is focused in the area where the girls are believed to be held.”
On Tuesday, rallies and events were held in Nigeria to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Boko Haram's abduction of the girls from the northeast town of Chibok, which provoked an international outcry. The majority of the students are still missing.
Meanwhile, Aljazera spoke with three girls, who were abducted along with more than 200 of their classmates before jumping off of the trucks of their kidnappers.
The three girls are now attending college at the University in Yola.
When asked if they want to go back to their hometown of Chibok, all three girls say yes.
“I want some changes in Chibok, like the environment,” a girl called Blessing said. “I want to be a lawyer. I want to fight for justice. ”
Another, Mary, says she wants to ” become a medical doctor. To go to Chibok and build clinics and hospitals because we don't have educated doctors there. I will try hard.”
The third, Deborah had a profound message: “It was said that if you educate a girl you educate the whole nation. It is very important. They haven't stopped me. … That's why I am going back when I graduate. The education there is very poor. So I want to help by building a school. I want to empower women by creating centres that will teach them things.”
The military conflict in the region makes it difficult to search for the captured children, and there are only rumors and brief sightings to go on. The BBC reports that their classmates are likely being taught the Koran and married off to members of Boko Haram.
Nevertheless, the ones who got away remain hopeful.
Deborah also sent a message to captive girls: “The message is be brave and courageous. Be a hard worker and always believe in God, that whatever you are going through, God is there for you, he will help you. Have ambition that you are great and you were made to be a great person.”
Bloomberg/ Business Insider
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