Boko Haram could not hold back the voices of the rescued women they could no longer torture. The Nigerian Army recently rescued hundreds of women and girls in northern Nigeria’s Sambisa Forest from the Islamist terror group, and some of the women took the first chance they got to talk about the atrocities committed against them and others taken by Boko Haram.
Boko Haram first took the men from the females and children and killed them in front of their families, according to Reuters. After being taken into the forest, the surviving family members were left to either starve or be riddled with disease before death.
Asabe Umaru, a 24-year-old mother, told Reuters every day was filled with death and despair.
“Every day we witnessed the death of one of us and waited for our turn.”
Another freed captive, Cecilia Abel, said, “We were fed only ground dry maize in the afternoons. It was not good for human consumption. Many of us that were captured died in Sambisa Forest. Even after our rescue about 10 died on our way to this place.”
Abel said she had barely eaten for nearly two weeks before she was rescued by the Nigerian army.
The Boko Haram captives were kept under a very watchful eye.
Umaru said, “They didn’t allow us to move an inch. If you needed the toilet, they followed you. We were kept in one place. We were under bondage.”
Many of the rescued women and children had head and limb injuries. Boko Haram militants would stone the women and children to get them to move to other locations quickly, but the captives refused to move when they saw the Nigerian army. They waved their arms and yelled instead.
Soldiers took 275 women and children to the eastern town of Yola where they were treated for injuries and fed. Dr. Mohammed Aminu Suleiman of the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency said 19 of the freed captives needed to stay in the hospital for treatment.
None of the captives rescued appear to be any of the 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from the Chibok school dormitories last year, and so far none of the freed women or children claim to have seen any of these girls while being held by Boko Haram.
“We thank God to be alive today. We thank the Nigerian army for saving our lives,” Umaru praised.
The Nigerian Army continues to try and flush out Boko Haram from the Sambisa Forest, the “last refuge” of the terror group, according to Al Jazeera.
[Photo by Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde]