A multinational force comprising troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, have handed over to Nigeria’s Borno state 94 persons who were rescued from Boko Haram captivity in the fringes of Lake Chad, a state official said Thursday.
In a statement released by the state governor’s spokesman Isa Gusau, the victims, 37 adult males, 17 adult females, and 40 children were rescued by the troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) during a major offensive against the insurgents around Lake Chad.
Gusau said the MNJTF commander Ibrahim Yusuf handed over the victims to the Borno government at a brief ceremony in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.
Yusuf was quoted in the statement as saying that some of the captives voluntarily went to the Headquarters Sector 1 of the MNJTF in north Cameroon.
Kakashehu Lawan, the state commissioner for justice, who received the victims, said in the statement the state will profile, debrief, de-radicalize, and reintegrate the rescued persons to live a normal life with their families.
Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria since 2009, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin, posing enormous security, humanitarian, and governance challenges to countries including Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Benin, and Niger.