The Nigerian army has captured Boko Haram’s “last enclave” in Sambisa Forest, President Muhammadu Buhari said Saturday as he warned the militant fighters they “no longer have a place to hide.”
Buhari took to Facebook to say that the Islamic militant group’s Camp Zero fell to Nigerian troops early Friday afternoon in the northeastern state of Borno.
Buhari said the camp’s capture was “long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists.”
After congratulating the army, he said that “the terrorists are on the run” and called for them to be brought to justice.
Nigerian army officers told CNN that military operations against Boko Haram would continue within Sambisa Forest and surrounding areas, where the Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted two years ago are believed to be held.
In April 2014, Boko Haram militants kidnapped an estimated 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok in Borno. As many as 57 girls escaped almost immediately that year, and one was found as recently as May.
In October, militants handed over 21 of the schoolgirls to authorities — the first mass release of any of the abducted girls and women. Just under 200 remain unaccounted for after that release.
Boko Haram, which opposes Western education, wants to set up an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.
A UN report released this month indicates 8.5 million people in northeastern Nigeria are in dire need of humanitarian aid after years of violence by Boko Haram.