Nigeria’s president has ordered an investigation into allegations by a rights group of rapes by soldiers and police of women and girls fleeing the militant group Boko Haram.
Human Rights Watch said in a statement that 43 cases of “sexual abuse, including rape and exploitation”, had been documented by its researchers in July. A police spokesman flatly rejected the report.
The women and girls were housed at seven camps in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, for people displaced by Boko Haram’s seven-year-old insurgency, the rights group said.
The Boko Haram campaign has driven more than two million people from their homes and killed some 15,000 in Nigeria’s northeast.
The rights group said it was also told of abuse carried out by camp leaders employed by authorities and members of local militias set up to help the military fight the insurgents.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was “worried and shocked” by the allegations, his spokesman Garba Shehu said in a response statement.
“President Buhari has instructed the inspector general of police and the state governors of the affected states to immediately commence investigations into the issue.”
Four people told HRW they had been drugged and raped. Thirty-seven said they had been coerced into sex through false promises of marriage and material and financial assistance.
A 17-year-old girl said she was raped by a policeman.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK