Daily Archives: August 4, 2015

Nigeria’s army rescues 178 people captured and held captive by Boko Haram

African securityNigeria’s army rescues 178 people captured and held captive by Boko Haram
Published 4 August 2015

Nigeria’s army said on Sunday that it had rescued 178 people held by Islamist group Boko Haram in Borno state in Nigeria’s north-east. Under the sustained attacks of the armies of four of Nigeria’s neighbors — Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin — Boko Haram was pushed out of most of the vast swathes of Nigerian territory it had come to control at the start of the year. The Islamists, who a year ago appeared to be on the verge of establishing their own state-within-a-state in north-east Nigeria, have since dispersed, and have returned to their earlier guerrilla approach of hitting soft targets with bombs and raiding towns.

Nigeria’s army said on Sunday that it had rescued 178 people held by Islamist group Boko Haram in Borno state in Nigeria’s north-east.

Army spokesman Colonel Tukur Gusau said 101 of the those freed were children, 67 were women, and the rest were men. He added that a Boko Haram commander had also been captured and several militant camps were cleared around the town of Bama, about 70 km south-east of the state capital Maiduguri.

In 2009 Boko Haram has launched a terror campaign in the north-east of Africa’s biggest economy, aiming to establish an Islamist state, governed by sharia law, in the three north-eastern states of Nigeria. The incompetent Nigerian military, hollowed out by corruption, was no match for the Islamist insurgents, and they expanded they area of control to the west and south, in the process killing about 15,000 Nigerians and driving 1.2 million out of their homes.

The Nigerian military compensated for its shortcomings by adopting a heavy-handed approach to fighting Boko Haram, often resorting to indiscriminate bombing and burning of villages and towns in which the army suspected Boko Haram’s fighters were hiding – killing the village residents along with the few Islamist fighters hiding there, if any. Documents show that that the army has killed many more innocent civilians than Islamists. Amnesty International has also documented another aspect of the Nigerian military’s conduct: The army grabbed thousands of young men and boys in areas suspected to be susceptible to Boko Haram influence, and housed them in overcrowded prisons, where they were kept for years without any legal procedure to ascertain their guilt or innocence. More than 8,000 of them died as a result of starvation, thirst, or suffocation. About 1,500 died when army soldiers, in an effort to kill insects and lice in the over-crowded jail cells, sprayed the cells – with the men still inside – with a powerful agricultural insecticide.

The Guardian reports that Nigeria’s air force also said that it helped ground troops repel an attack by Boko Haram around the village of Bitta on the southern edge of the Sambisa forest reserve, a stronghold of the militants.

Earlier this year, frustrated with the Nigerian military’s lack of progress in the war against Boko Haram, three of Nigeria’s neighbors – Chad, Niger, and Cameroon – issued an ultimatum to Nigeria. They told then-president Goodluck Jonathan that their own armies will take up the fight against Boko Haram – but not only on their own territories, where an emboldened Boko haram was beginning to operate, but also inside Nigeria. Jonathan, who was facing a tough re-election campaign (which he would lose), relented, and the tide of the has since turned against the Islamists.

Under the sustained attacks of the competent armies of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon (and of a fourth neighbor of Nigeria – Benin), and especially the U.S.-supplied and trained Chadian air force, regarded as the best on the continent, Boko Haram was pushed out of most of the vast swathes of Nigerian territory it had come to control at the start of the year. The Islamists, who a year ago appeared to be on the verge of establishing their own state-within-a-state in north-east Nigeria, have since dispersed, and have returned to their earlier guerrilla approach of hitting soft targets with bombs and raiding towns.

The multinational force set up by Nigeria’s four neighbors has now grown to 8,700 troops, with headquarters in the Chadian capital N’Djamena.

The issue of foreign troops operating on Nigerian soil is a sensitive issue. The early success of the multinational force against Boko Haram, and the victory in the Nigerian election of a former general, Muhammadu Buhari, who believes he can whip the Nigerian military into shape, have slowed down operations of the multinational force.

Last week Buhari visited Cameroon and Benin in an effort to iron out differences between Nigeria and its neighbors over cross-border pursuit.
More Stories:
view counter
Leave a comment
Register for your own account so you may participate in comment discussion. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to abide by our Comment Guidelines, our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Use. Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief. Names are displayed with all comments. Learn more about Joining our Web Community.

Ty Warner introduces Cecil™ the Lion Beanie Baby®.

OAKBROOK, Illinois, Aug. 3, 2015 / PRNewswire — Ty Warner, Founder and Chairman of Ty Inc, has created Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby in memory of the beloved lion tragically killed July 2, 2015.

Ty Inc BB Cecil 1y  Ty Warner introduces Cecil™ the Lion Beanie Baby®.

Ty Warner introduces Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150803/254247

Ty has pledged 100% of profits from the original sale to WildCRU, the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of University of Oxford in Oxford England.

“Hopefully, this special Beanie Baby will raise awareness for animal conservation and give comfort to all saddened by the loss of Cecil,” said Ty Warner.

About Ty Inc.
Ty Inc. is the largest manufacturer of plush in the world. Peek-a-Boo’s are the latest innovation from Ty, allowing you to use your phones hands-free and eliminate “tech neck”. For more information visit Ty.com

About WildCRU
The mission of WildCRU, founded at the University of Oxford in 1986 by Prof David Macdonald, is to achieve practical solutions to conservation problems through original scientific research. WildCRU’s work spans many species in many countries around the world. David and Dr Andrew Loveridge set up the Hwange lion study in Zimbabwe in 1999 and it is one of the longest running.