Nigeria: Gunmen release 100 abducted villagers in early June

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After 42 days of hostage-taking, one hundred civilians abducted by gunmen in early June from the village of Manawa in the northwest Nigeria were released, announced yesterday Tuesday (20/7) the authorities of the state of Zamfara.

“On June 8, 2021, gunmen stormed the village of Manawa and abducted 100 villagers. among women, mainly young mothers, men and children “, said in its announcement the police of the state of Zamfara, as broadcast by APE-MPE.

“The victims, who were held by their captors for 42 days, were released without ransom,” the statement added, without elaborating.

In northwestern Nigeria, groups of armed thugs have been active for years, attacking, looting and abducting villagers, whose animals are being stolen and their homes burned. In recent months, there has been an increase in the mass abduction of students by gunmen seeking ransom for the release of hostages.

The military has recently deployed reinforcements, including fighter jets, to the area in a bid to end the violence.

The militants have taken refuge mainly in the Rugo forest, which stretches across the states of Niger, Katsina, Cantuna and Zamfara.

Zamfara state authorities have been in contact with these criminal groups, with whom they have been negotiating amnesty agreements for more than a year in exchange for laying down their arms.

State officials negotiated the release in December of 344 boys abducted by gunmen in the state of Katsina.

Authorities are paying a ransom for the release of those abducted, raising concerns among experts that this could lead to an increase in abductions in those areas where the population lives in extreme poverty.

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