Nigerian Military Liberates Boko Haram Captives Amidst Victories

West Africa's fight against the Boko Haram Islamist group received further good news as the Nigerian military rescued a dozen women and children from Boko Haram camps.

The freed women were found as Nigeria continues to clear out Boko Haram camps in northeast Borno state. Boko Haram has captured hundreds of women and children to use as hostages, suicide bombers, or sex slaves.

Boko Haram's captivity of women was dramatized across the world when the group captured 219 Nigerian schoolgirls in April, 2014. However, the Nigerian military has said that none of the rescued women were a part of that group.

This news follows up a string of victories of West African governments over Boko Haram. A week ago, the Nigerian military reported that they had wiped out all Boko Haram camps in northeast Nigeria.

Defense spokesman Rabe Abubakar said that Boko Haram is "completely in disarray, having no command and control of where to plan. We have even taken over the camps that most of them have even abandoned their bases and blended within towns and communities."

While Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014, they are now back to terrorist attacks and suicide bombings instead of directly fighting with the Nigerian military.

Abubakr said that the Nigerian military will have to readjust to handle this different style of threat. He emphasized that past incidents of desertion and corruption which plagued the Nigerian military is a thing of the past.

Other good news against Boko Haram have occurred outside Nigeria. Troops in Chad also drove Boko Haram out of camps and 25 towns across West Africa. And on Monday, French president Francois Hollande promised to step up airstrikes against Boko Haram and provide 130 million euros to Nigeria for infrastructure development.

Hollande said that "to fight Boko Haram is to fight Daesh, and we can no longer single out terrorism according to regions. It is the same terrorism, inspired by the same ideology of death."

Despite these successes, more than 1,000 people have been killed since Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari took office in March with a pledge to wipe out Boko Haram. The Boko Haram uprising, which started in 2009, has seen 40,000 people killed and over a million people displaced. Nigerian refugees have fled to other West African countries, further straining resources in a region slowly recovering from war.

[Photo by Phil Walter / Getty Images Sport]