By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Amnesty International, Wednesday, commended the Nigerian military for rescuing 293 women and girls from the grips of Boko Haram insurgents, even as it said apart from the Chibok girls, there are over 2000 women in captivity.
In a statement Wednesday, Amnesty International, described the rescue of the women and girls as an encouraging development, noting however that it is ”only a small step in securing the safety of the thousands of women and girls abducted by the armed group since 2014″.
It said; “The organization is also calling on the authorities to ensure that the trauma of those ‘rescued’ is not exacerbated by lengthy security screening in detention.
“This development is just cause for celebration and undoubtedly an immense relief to the women, girls and their families. But this is just the tip of the iceberg; there are thousands more women and girls, and men and boys who have been abducted by Boko Haram,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director, Research and Advocacy.
“The military said they ‘rescued’ the women in an offensive against the armed group in the Sambisa forest area in the north-east.
“According to a recent Amnesty International report, more than 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram. Drawing from interviews with those who escaped, the report reveals how civilians were executed, tortured, raped and forced into marriage in camps and towns controlled by Boko Haram.
“In previous cases where women and girls have escaped from Boko Haram they have been detained for weeks on end for security screening. Amnesty International is calling on the authorities to ensure that their physical and psychological well-being is paramount.