Nigerian President Muhammaudu Buhari declared finally on Saturday that, Nigeria has won the war against Boko Haram, an extremist group. Nigerian troops crushed the last enclave of the terrorists in the Sambisa forest in the North East geo-political zone of the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Nigerian troops, and his victorious announcement came as the Islamic State group, with which one sect of Boko Haram is allied, claimed a courageous and successful attack on an army cantonment in Yobe state of northeast Nigeria.
Boko Haram has killed at least 20,000 people, spread across Nigeria’s borders, and 2.6 million displaced from their homes during its seven-year insurgency (the fighting broke out in 2009 sparking a humanitarian crisis). They intended to create a hardline Islamic state governed by a strict interpretation of Sharia law in the northeast Nigeria of Africa’s most populous nation.
The jihadist group controlled an area in the northeast Nigeria spread across 500 square-mile forest, in early 2015. Nigeria’s ‘gallant troops’ led in north-eastern Borno crushed the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at Camp Zero in Sambisa Forest on Thursday, Buhari said.
“I was told by the Chief of army staff that the camp fell at about 1.35pm on Friday, December 23, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide,” Muhammaudu Buhari said in a statement by email.
Many believe, that Boko Haram is holding at least some of the schoolgirls (276) kidnapped in April 2014 from a village school in the town of Chibok in the Sambisa Forest. Some of them escaped early a group of 21 girls were freed in October. However the 196 who are unaccounted is believed to have died of disease or in airstrikes on the forest. They were not recovered during the military operation at Camp Zero.
The United Nations say a billion dollars is needed to help victims (14 million people will need outside help in 2017, particularly in Borno state) of Boko Haram, calling the conflict “the largest crisis in Africa.”
“A projected 5.1 million people will face serious food shortages as the conflict and risk of unexploded improvised devices prevented farmers planting for a third year in a row, causing a major food crisis,” the United Nations said in early December.