Thursday, 24 May 2018

Nigerian Troops Rape, Starve Boko Haram Victims At IDP Camps – Amnesty Int’l Alleges

Amnesty International has alleged that the Nigerian army raped thousands of women and girls who escaped from Boko Haram insurgents. It also alleged that troops of the Nigerian Army killed many who refused to be moved from territories rescued from the insurgents.

In a new report released Thursday titled “They betrayed us,” the global rights group reported “how the Nigerian military and Civilian Joint Task Force (Civilian JTF) have separated women from their husbands and confined them in remote ‘satellite camps’ where they have been raped, sometimes in exchange for food.”

The JTF is a militia working alongside the Nigerian military in the campaign against the insurgency in the Northeastern part of Nigeria. Amnesty International said it has collected evidence that thousands of people have starved to death in the camps in Borno state since 2015.

Five women also told Amnesty International that they were raped in late 2015 and early 2016 in Bama Hospital camp as famine-like conditions prevailed. “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.

“Instead of receiving protection from the authorities, women and girls have been forced to succumb to rape in order to avoid starvation or hunger,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria. According to the group, in some cases, the abuse appeared to be part of a pattern of persecution of anyone perceived to have a connection to Boko Haram.

It said women had reported 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 to the satellite camps, and in some locations detained most men and boys aged between 14 and 40 as well as women who travelled unaccompanied by their husbands. The detention of so many men has left women to care for their families alone.

“Scores of women described how soldiers and Civilian JTF members have used force and threats to rape women in satellite camps, including by taking advantage of hunger to coerce women to become their “girlfriends”, which involved being available for sex on an ongoing basis.”

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