Sambisa is a vast area of land located south of Borno State. The thick forest area with swampy condition during rainy season is believed to be harbouring make shift- camps of suspected members of Boko Haram Islamists.
It has boundaries with Chibok, Askira Uba, Damboa, Gwoza, Konduga, Dikwa, Bama and other local government areas of the state.
There is a games reserve situated in the heart of Sambisa forest, but when members of the terrorist group were dislodged by the military and vigilante youths from Maiduguri, Borno State capital, most of them relocated
to the Sambisa and destroyed the games reserve last year killing some of the staff and settling there.
Although the military has told the whole world severally that during their offensive against Boko Haram, they were able to kill many of the insurgents and destroyed their camps, people question whether it is true that security forces actually were able to enter Sambisa. This is because of the several number of attacks and killings in Sambisa and surrounding villages.
The games reserve, according to findings, is located 14 kilometres of Kawuri village, along Maiduguri-Bama road which came under a deadly attack last month, leaving 85 people killed with property worth millions of naira destroyed.
It has an area of approximately 518 square kilometres. It harbours a sizeable population of wildlife, typical of savannah habitat/ environment; like monkeys, antelopes, lions, elephants, as well as bird species such as ostrich, bustard, etc.
Contrary to what many think that Borno is a desert area, there are sizeable parts of the state, especially southern Borno, Sambisa inclusive, which vegetation is savannah by nature.
Prior to its destruction by insurgents, the games reserve was handed over to the Federal Government through the National Park.
The Chibok incident, which sparked global outrage, saw over 200 schoolgirls of a government girls secondary school being abducted, and still missing with extensive search and rescue mission into the Sambisa forest.
Ordeal in Sambisa
Parents of the abducted school girls, at the weekend, recounted their experiences in the Sambisa forest in search of their daughters.
The aggrieved, traumatised parents, who spoke when Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima visited the school, also disputed the figures provided by the state government of the victims who escaped from their kidnappers.
The parents had vowed, last week, to storm the forest because the military had purportedly failed to enter the place and rescue the children.
Narrating his experience, Mallam Amos Chiroma, who was among the parents who combed the Sambisa forest, told the governor: “We saw a lot of strange things in the Sambisa forest but we will not be able to disclose all for security reasons. Borno and indeed this country require prayers from all and sundry.
“While we were in the forest with over 200 volunteers who only had cutlasses, bows, arrows and sticks, we came across different make-shift camps suspected to be owned by terrorists. It is however unfortunate that we had to turn back when we met one good Samaritan in the forest who advised us that it was in our own interest to go back because the area we were approaching in the forest was a dead zone dominated by terrorists.
“If soldiers had accompanied us to the forest, we would have been optimistic that our missing children would have been rescued, or we would have been satisfied if we could just see the bodies of our daughters”.
Source News Express