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SHOCKING: Nigerian Soldiers Are Reported To Have Raped Hundreds Of Women Fleeing Boko Haram Since 2015 (Details below)



So many young girls and women who endured the seige of Boko Haram and managed to escape are now being assaulted by the Nigerian military of all people.

They say there are rescuing the women.

“They betrayed us” reveals how Civilian Joint Task Force Civilian JTF – a militia who work alongside them and the Nigerian army have taken women from their husbands and placed them in remote camps where they have been raped, at times in exchange for food. There is proof showing that thousands of people have died of starvation in the camps in Borno state, north-east Nigeria, since 2015.

In some cases, the abuse appears to be part of a pattern of persecution of anyone perceived to have a connection to Boko Haram. Women 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 s3x on an ongoing basis

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Five women reported that they were raped in late 2015 and early 2016 in Bama Hospital camp as famine-like conditions prevailed.

20-year-old Ama (not her real name) revealed: “They will give you food but in the night they will come back around 5pm or 6pm and they will tell you to come with them… One Civilian JTF man came and brought food to me. The next day he said I should take water from his place and I went. He then closed the tent door behind me and raped me. He said I gave you these things, if you want them we have to be husband and wife”.

Ten others in the same camp said that they were also coerced into becoming girlfriends of security officials to save themselves from starvation. Most of these women had already lost children or other relatives due to lack of food, water and healthcare in the camp. The s3xual exploitation continues at an alarming level as women remain desperate to access sufficient food and livelihood opportunities

Women said the s3xual exploitation follows an organized system, with soldiers openly coming into the camp for s3x and Civilian JTF members choosing the “very beautiful” women and girls to take to the soldiers outside. Women reported they were too afraid to refuse demands for s3x.

“S3x 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 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,” said Osai Ojigho.

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Further research exposed that hundreds of women along with their children have been held in the notorious Giwa Barracks detention centre since 2015. While most have been released, an unknown number remain in military detention.

Many of those detained since 2015 had been victims of abductions or forced marriages by Boko Haram and were detained by the military for being so-called Boko Haram wives instead of being rescued.

Five reports about s3xual violence in Giwa barracks, while seven women said they gave birth inside their dirty, overcrowded cells without any medical assistance. At least 32 babies and children, and five women, have died in detention since 2016.

“The detention of women and girls on the basis that they were allegedly married to Boko Haram members is unlawful under international human rights law and Nigerian law, and is discriminatory,” said Osai Ojigho.

Women interviewed often spent months or years living under the repressive rule of Boko Haram. Some reported being forced into marriages with Boko Haram members or being flogged when caught breaking the armed group’s strict rules. Seven said they witnessed the executions of family members or neighbours after unsuccessful attempts to escape.

Since 2015, various NGOs and humanitarian organizations have reported s3xual violence and deaths in camps for internally displaced people in north-east Nigeria. While the authorities frequently promised to investigate such reports, there has been no tangible action to address the problem and no one appears to have been brought to justice. It is not always clear if these investigations were carried out as no reports have been made public.

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