ABU DHABI, 20th May 2016 (WAM) – One captive’s escape from Boko Haram’s clutches raises hopes that the rest may soon be found, a United Arab Emirates newspaper has said.

The escape of one woman from Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram is a cause for rejoicing, said the English language daily ‘Gulf News’ in a commentary today.

It is very good news, the paper continued, that Ameenah Ali Nkeki is now in a government hospital, recovering from her ordeal with her young baby. But what is disturbing is that she independently walked out of the Sambisa Forest in north-east Nigeria from where Boko Haram has defied Nigerian forces for many years. She was not rescued by military action, but she emerged from captivity with a man she was forcibly “married” to. It may well take some time to work out the rights and wrongs of her (and his) situation.

But Ameenah Ali is only one of 200 girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago when they were schoolgirls.

“It is shocking indeed that even after two years, Boko Haram is still holding such a huge number of young women and may well have sold them as sex slaves to other radical and terrorist groups, according to some of Boko Haram’s own statements. It is a disaster that the Nigerian armed forces have not managed to do better in finding the terrorists and eliminating them and freeing the young women from their terrible ordeal,” the paper noted.

It concluded by saying: “The fiasco over the failure to stop Boko Haram was a significant factor in toppling previous president Jonathan Goodluck. But new President Mohammad Buhari’s promise of effective military action to defeat Boko Haram has not been delivered. It is all very well that the Nigerians say they are finally penetrating the Sambisa Forest, but it should have happened years ago.”

WAM/bashir