Boko Haram is fracturing, there is discontent in the organisation’s ranks as they face shortages of fuel and weapons.
That’s according to a group of women who are among 700 who have been freed by the Nigerian army in the past week. They have given an insight into the Islamist Jihadi fighters.
“They were always complaining that their leader, I can’t recall his name now, but that their leader had deceived them in fighting and killing in the name of religion
and now that the unfaithful were killing them. They didn’t give them guns and nothing good was happening to them,” explained one of the rescued women, Hanatu Musa.
Of the group of 275 freed captives taken to a government run camp only 61 were over the age of 18. Many of the small children were malnourished. One woman told how some were forced to marry Boko Haram fighters and if they refused were sold as slaves.
“They started taking money from people, selling us off. Some would also serve as house helpers for their wives. Most of the buyers were the Boko Harem fighters themselves,” said Binta Ibrahim.
Many of the survivors told how they were kept inside, occasionally brought food and sometimes beaten. They told too of how the militants stoned some of them as the army approached. It’s unclear how many were killed in the rescue operation.
But the fate of the 200 schoolgirls captured last year is unclear. None of the freed women who were interviewed had seen any of the Chibok group.
The Nigerian army believes it has Boko Haram on the run but is being hampered by landmines in the group’s stronghold the Sambisa forest .