Updated: March 1, 2021
Amnesty International released an explosive and frightening, but apparently exaggerated report on Thursday, detailing how “thousands of women” who had survived Boko Haram atrocities in Nigeria’s northeast ended up being abused and sometimes violently raped by the same soldiers who had come to rescue them.
“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,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]
“Instead of receiving protection from the authorities, women and girls have been forced to succumb to rape in order to avoid starvation or hunger.”
The human rights organization relied mainly on testimonies from five women who alleged they were raped by Nigerian soldiers between 2015 and 2016 in internally displaced camps.
The Nigerian government and army have rejected the allegations, describing them as false and fictitious.
Amnesty did not provide evidence to back up claims that “thousands of women and girls who survived the brutal rule of the Boko Haram armed group have since been further abused by the Nigerian security forces”.
But Amnesty said the women were reportedly separated from their husbands and confined in remote “satellite camps” where they were raped, sometimes in exchange for food.
Amnesty did not also provide evidence it said it collected to show that “thousands of people have starved to death in the camps in Borno state, north-east Nigeria, since 2015”.
Or that some abuses “appeared” to be part of a pattern of persecution of anyone perceived to have a connection to Boko Haram.
But the organization said women reported being beaten and called “Boko Haram wives” by the security officials when they complained about their treatment.