The United Nations’ Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, has decried the reported rape and forced marriages of female captives of the Boko Haram.
In a statement signed by her office’s Advocacy and Women’s Rights Specialist, Letitia Anderson, Bangura lamented that one year after the abduction of the more than 276 Chibok girls’, many remained in captivity.
“I am appalled by reports that hundreds of the recently released female captives were repeatedly raped by Boko Haram militias and compelled to marry their captors. These latest revelations suggest that the Boko Haram is not only destroying existing family and community structures but is bent on controlling their future composition.
“In order to give rise to a new generation raised in their own image, they are waging war on women’s physical, sexual and reproductive autonomy and rights,” Bangura said.
“I reiterate my calls for all abducted women and girls to be immediately released from captivity and returned safely to their families.
“I call upon the government of Nigeria, with support from the international community and local organisations, to provide medical and psycho-social care for those who have been impregnated.’’
Bangura also called for the provision of treatment for women and girls infected with sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDs.
Meanwhile, Nigerien authorities said they have detained 643 people linked to the Boko Haram group since February, the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reports.
Addressing the Nigerien parliament in Niamey, the country’s Security Minister, Hassoumi Massaoudou, said that those arrested and detained have been charged with acts of terrorism and criminal conspiracy.
“If this measure had not been taken, we could have had an uprising in the very interior of Diffa,” the minister said.
Diffa came under heavy attack in February when Boko Haram, which wants to establish an emirate in Northern Nigeria, carried out attacks in neighbouring countries.