A Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) set up to rid the Lake Chad region of terrorists on Wednesday said it had helped to facilitate the return of a Nigerian nurse from the grip of the ISWAP, a terrorist organisation.
The MNJTF comprises units of military personnel from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
In a statement signed from Chad, an MNJTF spokesman, Colonel Muhammad Dole, said the nurse had been held in captivity since the beginning of 2020.
During an air-bomb raid of an ISWAP stronghold in the Lake Chad, the nurse ran for dear life and escaped to Niger Republic, where he was handed over to the MNJTF.
“After bombs and rockets from the aircrafts landed and everywhere exploded in flames, both terrorists and hostages ran for dear life,” the nurse said, as quoted by the MNJTF. “I had to take my chance. I am grateful to God that I was able to escape.”
The nurse was medically examined before he was finally handed over to Nigerian authorities, the MNJTF said.
READ THE MNJTF’s FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
MNJTF FACILITATES RETURN OF NURSE ABDUCTED BY ISWAP
In consonance with the mandate of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which includes to “Facilitate within the limits of it’s capabilities, humanitarian operations and the delivery of assistance to the affected populations”, the Task Force has facilitated the return of a Nigerian Nurse (name and organization withheld) who was abducted by ISWAP and held in captivity since the beginning of 2020.
2. The nurse who was incarcerated in one of ISWAP’s strong holds in the Lake Chad bolted to safety and freedom, in the aftermath of a joint air interdiction conducted by the MNJTF and national partners. According to him, “after bombs and rockets from the aircrafts landed and everywhere exploded in flames, both terrorists and hostages ran for dear life. I had to take my chance. I am grateful to God that I was able to escape”. The nurse then made his way to a village in Niger Republic and was promptly handed over to security agents in Sector 4 of the MNJTF.
3. The airlift and hand- over of the nurse to Nigerian authorities was preceded by medical examination conducted to determine the state of health of the victim after spending 8 months in the horrific and squalid conditions which he had to endure during the period of his captivity in ISWAP enclave.
4. The MNJTF wishes to reassure populations in the Lake Chad Basin of it’s determination to provide security and facilitate development efforts being spearheaded by the respective national governments and international development partners.
5. Please, disseminate this information to the general public.
Colonel Muhammad Dole
Chief of Military Public Information
HQ MNJTF Ndjamena Chad
26 August 2020