Sol­diers sex­u­ally abuse Boko Haram vic­tims, says HRW

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

Nige­rian sol­diers and po­lice­men have raped and sex­u­ally abused women and girls flee­ing the mil­i­tant group Boko Haram, Hu­man Rights Watch said yes­ter­day.

Forty-three cases of “sex­ual abuse, in­clud­ing rape and ex­ploita­tion”, were doc­u­mented in July, HRW said. The women and girls were housed at seven camps in Maiduguri, the cap­i­tal of Borno state, where Boko Haram’s seven-year in­sur­gency be­gan. That in­sur­gency has dis­placed more than two mil­lion peo­ple and killed 15,000 in Nige­ria’s northeast.

An army spokesman de­clined to com­ment and re­ferred the mat­ter to the De­fence min­istry. A spokesman for the depart­ment could not be reached by phone and did not re­spond to a text mes­sage. A spokesman for the Nige­rian po­lice could not be reached on his mo­bile phone.

The rights group said it was also told of abuse car­ried out by camp lead­ers and mem­bers of se­cu­rity groups set up to help the mil­i­tary fight the in­sur­gents. Four peo­ple told HRW they were drugged and raped. Thirty-seven said they had been co­erced into sex.

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