Boko Haram

Amnesty Int’l Report: Nigerian Military Reunites Escapees with ‘Repentant’ Boko Haram, Perpetuating Abuse

A new report by Amnesty International has revealed the experiences of girls and young women who escaped Boko Haram captivity in north-east Nigeria, including abduction, sexual slavery, and other crimes. The report, obtained by SaharaReporters, also noted that even while in military detentions, they continued to suffer violations. The report accuses the Nigerian government of reuniting these girls and women with their tormentors in the form of surrendered Boko Haram “husbands,” exposing them to the risk of continued abuse.

The girls and young women have suffered a litany of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights abuses, and are now showing remarkable bravery as they seek to take control of their future. The crimes they endured have had long-lasting consequences, including health complications, access to education, the ability and desire to remarry, as well as stigma and rejection by their families and communities.

The report is based on 126 interviews conducted in person in the north-east Nigeria and remotely between 2019 and 2024. Most girls were forcibly married, and many were used in various ways as “wives”, including being made to serve their “husbands” in sexual slavery and domestic servitude. At least 33 survivors of forced marriage told Amnesty International that their “husbands” raped them.

Boko Haram meted out punishments publicly to instill fear and exert control, with at least 31 girls interviewed being forced to watch forms of punishment that included lashings, amputations, and beheadings. The report also highlighted the large scale of Boko Haram’s use of girls as suicide bombers, with the majority being female.

Amnesty International calls on the Nigerian government authorities, UN agencies, and donor governments to urgently make available tailored reintegration services for the girls and young women, while ensuring other affected groups are not left behind.

Summarised from Sahara Reporters

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