MADISON, Wisconsin — Members of the Boko Haram insurgency inhabiting parts of the Sambisa Forest have fled the area following what they describe to be deadly bee stings and snake bites.
Bee stings and snake bites have killed a number of militants.The insurgents claim the attacks to be spiritual retaliations from those killed by the organization. Some of the group claims that their victims’ families are using juju to pursue the militants.
One militant reported that those attacked by the bees and snakes do not live for more than 24 hours. “We were told that the aggrieved people who had suffered from our deadly missions, including the ghosts of some of those we killed, are the ones turning into the snake and bees,” Kolo Mustapha, a captured insurgent, said.
Recently, some Boko Haram leaders and insurgents have fled to Cameroon since being identified by Nigerian authorities. Those unable to flee have begun to return to their towns and villages where they risk being identified.
“We decided to flee when almost all of our comrades are leaving the [forest]because of constant attacks by snakes and bees, which we were told was a result of [the]Chibok abducted schoolgirls,” a captured militant said.
Some of the captured militants have promised to lead security agents to weapon caches, while others are repenting for their mistakes and even making an attempt to help their communities in fishing and other areas.
The organization recently drew international attention following their deadly attacks on Nigerian villages and their abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls. The group intended to sell the kidnapped girls as slaves in the black market. During a World Cup viewing, militants bombed a shopping mall in Abuja, killing more than 21 people.
Boko Haram continues to lead attacks and to loot villages throughout the country, revealing that the insurgency is not deterred by fatal bee and snake attacks.
– Ethan Safran
Sources: Vice News, Vanguard, The Guardian