By Theodore Shoebat
Boko Haram has kidnapped dozens of more young girls, as we read in one report:
Boko Haram has allegedly abducted dozens more girls in north-east Nigeria, damaging hopes of a ceasefire agreement with the government.
The latest kidnappings took place during a large-scale assault by the insurgent group on two villages in the remote and lawless Adamawa state, according to residents. The attacks on the villages of Waga Mangoro and Garta happened last Saturday – a day after the Nigerian government claimed to have brokered a truce with the group.
Government officials said that the truce was expected to lead to the freeing of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram from a school in the town of Chibok, also in north-east Nigeria, in April. But doubts have since been expressed about the credibility of the intermediary who was said to have brokered the deal.
The latest abduction is one of a series of further mass kidnappings that the group has carried out as part of its terror campaign, in which it has also carried out random massacres of hundreds of people at a time. Police have not yet confirmed details of the kidnapping, which took place in a remote area, but locals who spoke to the BBC say most of those who taken were teenagers or in their early 20s.
News of the new abductions came as Nigerian parliamentarians approved a $1bn (£623m) loan – requested by the president in July – to upgrade military equipment and train more units fighting the north-eastern insurgency.
The latest reports of a ceasefire deal follow a number of previous claims by Nigerian officials that an end was in sight to the Chibok schoolgirls’ ordeal, either through secret deals or imminent rescue operations. All such claims have so far proved unfounded. Privately, British officials are sceptical that the girls will ever be released, pointing out that a rescue operation is considered impossible because of the risk of casualties, and that Nigeria’s Western allies would not approve of its government doing a prisoner swap with such a bloodthirsty group.
In the town of Chibok itself, meanwhile, families of the missing girls have begun to lose hope, with some of them asking for their daughters to be officially declared dead so that they can hold proper funeral proceedings for them. They also complain that the school from where they were taken remains in ruins after last April’s attack, despite government promises to fund rebuilding work.
Fears are also growing that after six months as hostages, the girls will find it difficult to re-adjust to ordinary life were they to return home.
Boko Haram has insisted that the girls had not been ill-treated or sexually abused, but human rights groups have documented both among former hostages.
“The condition our girls will come in is our major concern,” said Enoch Mark, a Christian pastor from Chibok, whose daughter and niece are among the captives. “We keep wondering if our girls will come back pregnant or indoctrinated by Boko Haram.”