The Plan International’s Country Director in Nigeria, Hussaini Abdu, says Amnesty International report raises a serious alarm and must not be swept under the carpet.
According to Plan International’s statement on Amnesty International’s “They betrayed us report that the allegations of gross violations by the Nigerian security forces must be thoroughly investigated by the government and perpetrators must be brought to justice.
“They betrayed us” reveals how the Nigerian military and Civilian Joint Task Force (Civilian JTF) – a militia who work alongside them – have separated women from their husbands and confined them in remote “satellite camps” where they have been raped, sometimes in exchange for food.
In the report Amnesty International revealed evidence that thousands of people have starved to death in the camps in Borno state, north-east Nigeria, since 2015.
Five women told Amnesty International that they were raped in late 2015 and early 2016 in Bama Hospital camp as famine-like conditions prevailed.
Girls and women fleeing Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria have experienced some of the worst atrocities and extreme forms of physical and sexual violence, including rape.
There are consistent reports that these violations have been perpetrated not just by insurgents but also other actors, including government officials. This is totally unacceptable and must be addressed as an urgent priority.
Mechanisms must be put in place for survivors to report incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse, and have access to justice. It is also critical that training and oversight of troops emphasise that sexual exploitation and sexual violence are unlawful and violate the rights of women and girls.
Plan International has been strongly advocating for systematic protection of displaced adolescent girls who are particularly vulnerable due to their age and gender.
This includes preventing and responding to sexual and gender based violence.
Survivors of sexual violence must be able to access the full range of psychosocial support services, including essential sexual and reproductive healthcare, case management and referral services.