‘People die, there’s always a burial, a burial, a burial. I was thinking mine could come at any time’. These are the words of a woman who arrived to a satellite refugee camp settled by the Nigerian Army in Dikwa, Nigeria, by the end of 2017.
According to Aminsty International report ‘They betrayed us’, thousands of Nigerian women and girls kidnapped by Islamist group Boko Haram have experienced rape in exchange for food.
AI’s report has more than 50 interviews with girls who explain how the Nigerian Army and the civil agents sent them to camps were they were forced to become the men girlfriends’, which meant offering their bodies for the most basic need.
“I fled my village of Gala Kura when the [Nigerian] air force started bombing it. W were about ten families who agreed to leave together. We were 10 men, 30 women and about 50 children […]Of the children, not more than 10 are still alive. The others all died in Bama Hospital Camp, or in Giwa barracks”. 30-year-old Maya (not her real name), who fled her home in early 2016.
For the past 3 years, Boko Haram’s goal is to rule over the Muslim part of Nigeria, and although the Nigerian Army is making progress pushing Boko Haram away from the Nigerian territory, refugees are dying and being attacked and abused by the soldiers who try to regain the country's occupied area.
Most of the girls and women from the camps have lost their husbands in the hands of the jihadists and now have to face torture, sexual abuse and hunger. According to what the refugee women told AI, in Bama camp between 15 and 30 people died every day, and the numbers are similar in other military-based satellite refugee camps.
From 2015 to 2016, only in Bama hospital camp, in the North East of Nigeria, hundreds of women died, and the number of mortal victims only started to decrease after the arrival of International aid.
As AI report states, this is due to the high level of corruption in the Nigerian government, now with Muhammadu Buhari as leader. The Nigerian authorities have promised to investigate the cases of sexual violence and starvation, but so far these investigations haven’t occurred.
In this video you can see Nigerian refugee women walking towards a governmental office to expose their complaints about the authorities’ failure to protect civilians.
According to another piece of news released by Amnisty International, the soldiers ignored Boko Haram’s warning of its intentions to kidnap more girls to use a sex slaves, and this resulted in 110 more schoolgirls abducted by the jihadists during the past month of March.
The organization accuses the Nigerian authorities of ignoring a call of the abduction of 110 more schoolgirls last March. Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director, claims “the Nigerian authorities have failed in their duty to protect civilians".
For its part, the Nigerian authorities claim that AI have no prove of the Nigerian army “being repeatedly told that Boko Haram fighters were heading to Daptchi, and they accuse the organization of “not being ready to contribute towards finding a solution […]but rather being ready to complicate the problems”.