15 women and children escape Boko Haram in Nigeria | TheHill – The Hill
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A group of six women and nine children who were abducted by the Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram have escaped captivity after months of being held, according to Monday media reports.
The group of Nigerian women and children trekked through the bush for nearly a week in order to escape the Islamist militants who had kidnapped them from northeast churches, explained a state governor.
They had been abducted in pair of incidents in October 2020 and May 2021, when the extremists raided their villages in Borno and Adamawa, both of which have been impacted by extremist violence, as explained by Zuwaira Gambo, the commissioner for women affairs in Borno.
As reported by The Associated Press, the 15 former hostages met with Borno Gov. Babagana Zulum in the state’s capital, Maiduguri.
“Today is one of our happiest moments for us to see these young girls and women that were abducted by the insurgents,” Zulum said Monday, attributing their freedom to “prayers and ongoing reconciliation and reintegration programs” in Borno state.
In northeast Nigeria, women and children have been targeted by Boko Haram and its offshoot, the Islamic State West Africa Province. More than 1,000 children have been abducted since 2013, as stated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
That includes the 2014 abduction of 276 girls from a Chibok school, which drew international outrage. More than 100 of those girls are still missing.
A UNDP report noted in 2020, “Abducted women have been subjected to violence and abuse and used as spies, fighters, and suicide bombers. Women who have escaped or been released are not always welcomed back to their communities and those returning from captivity or involvement with armed groups do not have access to the training, counseling, and reintegration programs that target men.”
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