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How military authorities reunited girls who escaped from terrorists with ‘repentant’ Boko Haram husbands – Amnesty Int’l report

A new report by global human rights body, the Amnesty International, has revealed how girls and young women who escaped from the Boko Haram endured abduction, sexual slavery and other crimes...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶▶▶

The report obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday further noted that even while in military detentions, they continued to suffer violations.

“Girls and young women who escaped Boko Haram captivity in north-east Nigeria faced further suffering, including sometimes in unlawful military detention, and are now receiving inadequate support as they attempt to rebuild their lives, ” Amnesty International said in the new report.

‘Help us build our lives’: Girl survivors of Boko Haram and military abuses in north-east Nigeria, investigates how girls survived trafficking and crimes against humanity by Boko Haram, including abduction, forced marriage, enslavement, and sexual violence.

The report further noted that after escaping Boko Haram captivity “Those not unlawfully detained were left to fend for themselves in displacement camps amid millions of other people needing humanitarian assistance.”

The report accused the government of reuniting these girls and women with their tormentors in form of “surrendered Boko Haram “husbands”

“From there, some were “reunited” with their surrendered Boko Haram husbands’ ‘ in a government-run transit camp, exposing them to the risk of continued abuse.”

“These girls, many of them now young women, had their childhood stolen from them and suffered a litany of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses. They are now showing remarkable bravery as they seek to take control of their future,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

“An enormous number of girls suffered horrific abuse in Boko Haram captivity, with many survivors then detained or neglected by their government. Now, they are sending a clear message to the Nigerian government and its international partners. They urgently need increased specialist support to rebuild their lives.”

The crimes that the girls and young women endured have had long-lasting consequences that are specific to their age and gender, 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, it was noted, is based on 126 interviews, including 82 with survivors conducted in person in the north-east Nigeria and remotely between 2019 and 2024.

Once abducted, most girls were then forcibly married. Child and forced marriage are common practices by Boko Haram, who generally consider girls to be “of age” to marry from early adolescence, or even before.

“Girls were used in a multitude of 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.

A total of 28 interviewees said they bore children of sexual violence, and at least 20 were children themselves when they gave birth.

The report further stated that Boko Haram meted out punishments publicly to instill fear and exert control. At least 31 girls interviewed were forced to watch forms of punishment that included lashings, amputations and beheadings.

Boko Haram also used girls as suicide bombers on a large scale. Between mid-2014 and 2019, the majority of Boko Haram suicide bombers were female.

In violation of international human rights law, no interviewees had access to a lawyer or were charged with a criminal offence. BZ* was detained as a teenager in Giwa Barracks, an infamous military detention facility in Maiduguri, from around 2017 to 2020. She said: “Nobody explained anything to us. They just brought us there and nobody told us anything.”

Since 2016, most of those who had been unlawfully detained in Giwa Barracks were brought to BulumkutuInterim Care Centre (BICC), where they were able to access some services.

Many interviewees were reunited with their families by government authorities and their partners. All are now in overpopulated internally displaced persons (IDP) camps or communities across Borno and Adamawa States.Interviewees expected and requested specialist government support, but instead felt neglected.

After years of oppression by Boko Haram, followed by unlawful military detention and neglect by government authorities, many interviewees valued freedom most of all. They expressed desires to become financially independentto support themselves and their families, and to enrol their children in school.

Many identified access to education as their top priority, and said they wanted to become doctors, nurses, teachers, and lawyers, or to work for non-governmental organisations.

“The Nigerian government has failed to uphold their human rights obligations to protect and adequately support these girls and young women,” said Samira Daoud.

“Along with their international partners, the Nigerian authorities must support these girls and young women as they fully reintegrate into society by prioritising access to healthcare, education and vocational training. They must get the assistance they need to rebuild their lives with dignity and in safety.”

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

It also asked the Nigerian Authorities to ensure girls and young women have a meaningful alternative to being returned to their Boko Haram “husbands”, and given necessary support to rebuild their lives...ĊONTINUE.THE FULL R£ĄÐING.>’.

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