Boko Haram victims face abuse by Nigerian army

'Women and girls forced to succumb to rape in order to avoid starvation or hunger,' says country director of rights group

Boko Haram victims face abuse by Nigerian army

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of female victims of Boko Haram violence in Nigeria’s northeast are being raped or forced into sexual relationships with security agents in exchange for food or security, Amnesty International claimed in a report Thursday. 

"They Betrayed Us" quoted unnamed victims speaking about serial abuse and denials by security forces who were supposed to protect them against Boko Haram.

“It is absolutely shocking that people who had already suffered so much under Boko Haram have been condemned to further horrendous abuse by the Nigerian military,” the report quoted Osai Ojigho, the director of Amnesty International Nigeria, as saying.

“Instead of receiving protection from the authorities, women and girls have been forced to succumb to rape in order to avoid starvation or hunger,” he added. 

The report claimed that the abuse in some cases appears to be part of a pattern of persecution of anyone perceived to have a connection to Boko Haram. It quoted women reporting being beaten and called “Boko Haram wives” by the security officials when they complained about their treatment.

“As Nigeria’s military recovered territory from the armed group in 2015, it ordered people living in rural villages to the satellite camps, in some cases indiscriminately killing those who remained in their homes. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled or were forced from these areas.

“The military screened everyone arriving at the satellite camps, and in some locations detained most men and boys aged between 14 and 40 as well as women who traveled unaccompanied by their husbands. The detention of so many men has left women to care for their families alone.

“Women said the sexual exploitation follows an organized system, with soldiers openly coming into the camp for sex and Civilian JTF members choosing the ‘very beautiful’ women and girls to take to the soldiers outside.

“Sex in these highly coercive circumstances is always rape, even when physical force is not used, and Nigerian soldiers and Civilian JTF members have been getting away with it. They act like they don’t risk sanction, but the perpetrators and their superiors who have allowed this to go unchallenged have committed crimes under international law and must be held to account,” Ojigho added.

Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2018, 11:26
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