Nigerian officials abusing women, girls displaced by Boko Haram – HRW

A rights group has accused Nigerian government officials and other authorities of raping and sexually abusing women and girls displaced by Boko Haram militants.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) revealed that in July 2016, it documented the abuse and exploitation of 43 women and girls living in camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) across the northeastern city of Maiduguri in Nigeria’s restive Borno State.

The victims displaced from various cities, had their movement restricted in some cases after having spent months in military screening camps, the group said.

HRW claimed that the Nigerian government was not doing enough to protect the victims and to ensure that they had access to basic rights and services.

“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” said Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at HRW.

While four of the victims interviewed reported that they had been drugged and raped, a further 37 claimed to have been coerced into sex through promises of marriage and financial assistance. Many of the women reported having been abandoned after they fell pregnant, with their children suffering discrimination and abuse at the hands of other residents in the camp.

Read accounts from the victims’ interviewed here.

A situational assessment conducted by Nigerian research organisation NOI Polls further revealed that 66% of 400 displaced people living in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states had reported sexual abuse from officials within the camps.

Irregular supplies of food, medical aid and clothing had led to the exploitation of some of the most vulnerable individuals living in the camps, with men using their positions of authority and privilege to have sex with women who sometimes only receive one meal a day.

The report said that victims of rape and sexual abuse were less likely to seek healthcare, with fewer than five of the 43 women interviewed reporting that they sought formal counselling following their harrowing ordeals. In addition, a medical health worker reported a rise in the number of people requiring HIV treatment, from about 200 cases in 2014 to more than 500 in July 2016.

Aid workers warned since early 2016 that women were being coerced into exchanging sex for basic necessities, with members of the security forces, along with other elements subjecting them to gross gender-based violence.

Following his visit to Maiduguri in August 2016, United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, said that the Nigerian government had “a tendency to downplay the problem of sexual violence and abuse” of internally displaced people.

HRW said it had since approached authorities regarding the finding of its report.

“Failure to respond to these widely reported abuses amounts to severe negligence or worse by Nigerian authorities. Authorities should provide adequate aid in the camps, ensure freedom of movement for all displaced people, safe and confidential health care for survivors, and punish the abusers,” Segun said.

Troops Raid Bunkerer, Militant Camps In Delta

Troops of 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army have raided a suspected oil bunker and militant camps at Afiagbene in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta but nobody was found.

Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in a statement on Tuesday that the troops carried the raid in collaboration with the Navy.

Usman said the raid was part of the field training exercise on the day 4 of the ongoing operation nicknamed: “Operation Crocodile Smile” in the Niger Delta.He said the troops, however, recovered two generators, one locally made double barrel gun, one dane gun, three live cartridges and two pumping machines.

Others, he said, were one 32 inches LG television, one Kenwood amplifier and 4 X 50 litres of a liquid suspected to be crude oil at Ayakoromo junction.

Credit: NAN

Akwa Ibom To Build Camps In Anticipation Of Flood

Akwa Ibom  State Government has directed the chairmen of 15 local government areas prone to flooding to build camps for rescue of victims in view of anticipated flood.

The State Flood Sensitisation Campaign Team led by the Director of Administration, Deputy Governor’s Office, Mrs Ekaette Ekanem, gave the directive yesterday at Itu centre of the campaign.

It was learnt that the state government had already categorised the 15 flood prone local government areas (LGAs) into four groups for purpose of the sensitisation.

The Oron group will comprise Oron, Udung Uko, Mbo, Urue Offong/Oruko and Okobo LGAs while Ibeno group or centre will make up of Eket, Esit Eket, Onna and Ibeno LGAs.

The LGAs in Ikot Abasi group or centre are Mkpat Enin, Eastern Obolo,Ikot Abasi while Itu centre comprises Uruan, Ibiono Ibom and Itu LGAs.

Ekanem said that the state government was working towards providing relief materials to victims of flooding that would be identified by the local council authority during the emergency.

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5,000 NSCDC Men Deployed To IDPs Camps In North-East

The Ministry of Interior has approved the deployment of 5, 000 personnel from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to secure the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the North East and to also carry out other national assignment as may be required. The Commandant General of the NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, lauded the gesture, affirming that the 5000 corps personnel had been trained and mobilised to protect the IDP camps and the areas liberated by the military from insurgents .

According to him, the corps personnel were trained in Kachia by the military on counter terrorism, while 35,000 personnel were also trained on arms handling to position them to carry out security functions appropriately. The CG said the Command and Control Centre of the NSCDC had approved activities in the areas where there are petroleum facilities in the South South region. According to him, the facilities are given full monitoring which had enabled the centre to relay emergencies to field officers.

Credit: NationalMirror

IDPs Prepare To Leave Camps For Home

More than 100,000 people uprooted by violence and living in camps in northeast Nigeria are set to return home soon, but many fear for their safety and ability to rebuild their lives, aid agency staff said on Thursday.

The Nigerian government plans to close in the coming months camps housing 150,000 displaced people in Borno and Adamawa states as security improves in the north, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The army has this year recaptured much of the territory seized by Boko Haram in its six-year campaign to carve out an Islamic state in the northeast, but the militants have since struck back with a surge of deadly raids and suicide bombings.

Most people living in camps want to return home but are worried about the threat of attacks and lack confidence in the military’s ability to protect them, Reuters quoted Stéphanie Daviot of the International Organisation for Migration as saying.

“They also say that the economic situation is not stable enough to go back, as shops and services have not been reopened, there is little work and their land has not been preserved… many people do not have the money to restart their lives.”

Many of those who have already gone home have found their houses and land destroyed or occupied by others, Daviot added.

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410 Births, 187 Marriages Recorded In IDP Camps- NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that over 410 births were recorded between August and September while 187 marriages were conducted within the same period at the internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps in Borno and Adamawa States.

The director general (DG) of the agency, Muhammad Sani Sidi, provided the data yesterday when members of Bring Back Our Girls Group (BBOG) paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja.

A statement by NEMA spokesman, Sani Datti, quoted the director general as stating that 100 marriages were conducted in Maiduguri camps alone while 87 were recorded in Adamawa camps.

He said an emergency education programme for children at the camps became a major priority after unprecedented insurgency attacks on students, teachers and school infrastructure where about 269 teachers lost their lives.

Credit: Thisday

NYSC Says No To Long Hijab In Camps

Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brigadier-General Johnson Olawumi, yesterday said the scheme is against the use of hijab during orientation camp exercise due to its security implication.

Olawumi, who stated this during a courtesy visit to NYSC national headquarters in Abuja by a group of Muslim youths under the aegis of League of Muslim Youths in Da’wah, insisted that NYSC would only accommodate the use of small hijab.

Olawumi also denied the allegation by the visiting youths that NYSC had infringed on the right of female Muslim corps members in the camp, challenging the group to report any infraction to the leadership of the scheme for proper action.

Earlier, National Coordinator of LMYiD, Luqman Hassan and Deputy coordinator, Kamarudeen Adefila, had told the NYSC DG that a major protest by Muslims was averted because of the ban on hijab in most orientation camps.

Adefila added, “Many Muslim organisations wanted to protest, but we said wait a while. In fact, we had to intervene to avoid the situation and if Muslims march on the streets, it will generate a lot of negative comments, but people won’t know why we are protesting.”

Credit: NationalMirror

Nigerian Army Destroys More Boko Haram Camps

The Nigerian Army on Sunday destroyed more Boko Haram terrorists’ camps in its continued offensive against the insurgents in the North East.

A statement by the spokesman of the theatre command, tagged “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Tukur Gusau, said the feat was achieved on Sunday when troops of 25 Task Force Brigade conducted clearance and confidence building operations in Bale along Bitta and Damboa areas of Borno State.

“The Boko Haram terrorists on sighting the advancing troops towards their location,? (they?)? fled in disarray abandoning looted food items and other personal effects.

“These include a grinding machine, dane guns and bicycles as well as Boko Haram terrorists’ hoisted flag, which was brought down and destroyed the troops.

“The formation continues to dominate the area and in order to deny the terrorists freedom of action and frustrate their nefarious intents and acts.

“The Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Major General Yusha’u Mahmood Abubakar hailed the troops for the achievements so far and encouraged them to keep the tempo so that the deadline set to end Boko Haram terrorists activities in Nigeria and the North East in particular, could be achieved.

“The troops are in high spirit and their and fighting efficiency remains very high,” Mr. Gusau, a colonel, said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Troops Destroy 5 More Boko Haram Camps

The Nigerian Army disclosed last night that it has destroyed another set of 5 terrorist camps operated by the Boko Haram group in Marte Local government area of Borno state .

It will be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai debunked the Governor’s assertion that some communities in the Local government area were still been controlled by the terrorists group insisting that all Nigerian communities had been liberated.

During the confrontation to clear the camps, the army said its troops killed two Boko Haram terrorists, recovered two dane guns, one double barrel and 12 motorcycles abandoned by the fleeing terrorists.

A statement detailing the army operation, signed by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman said, “In efforts to continually dominate, recover territories and clear all Nigerian territory of Boko Haram vestiges, the advancing troops of 5 Brigade Task Group have today (yesterday) cleared 5 more terrorists camps at Hausari and Baranga in Marte Local Government Area of Borno State.

“The troops during and encounter with Boko Haram terrorists at the camps killed 2 terrorists and recovered 2 Dane guns and a Double Barrel gun, while 12 motorcycles abandoned by some fleeing terrorists were destroyed.

“In addition, a suspected female member of the terrorists group was captured and is currently undergoing interrogation.

“It will be recalled that troops of 5 Brigade had some time last month cleared and destroyed twenty terrorist’s camps at Kerenowa general area.

“In a related development, troops of 28 Task Force Brigade on patrol between Bitta –Yamteke in Borno State to block Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from Lagaran Fulani to enter Sambisa forest, discovered 2 planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and successfully detonated them.

Continuing the statement said, “We wish to state here that, while striving to stamp out terrorists from Nigerian territory, the troops remain committed to ensuring that they cleared and secure all known Boko Haram terrorists’ camps and enclaves so that no terrorist infiltrates and return to any of the recovered areas.”

Credit: Vanguard

Troops Clear More Boko Haram Camps, Kill 30, Rescue 338 Captives (Viewer Discretion)

Troops of 28 Task Force Brigade Nigerian Army deployed at Bitta and Pridang carried out a successful raid on suspected Boko Haram terrorists camps at Bulajilin and Manawashe villages along Bita and Damboa road at the fringes of Sambisa forest yesterday. The troops were able to killed 30 Boko Haram terrorists.

The unit also rescued 338 persons that were held captive by the terrorists in the enclaves. The rescued persons which comprised of male 8, female 138 and children 192, have since been evacuated to Mubi. Troops also recovered arms and ammunitions during the raid operation which include 1 General Purpose Machine Gun and 2 Dane Guns, 150 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO), 6 boxes of 7.62mm (NATO) and 3 cutlasses.

Troops Destroy 20 Boko Haram Camps

Troops of 5 Brigade Nigerian Army, weekend, destroyed all Boko Haram camps and enclaves at the border towns of Kerenowa and Chikun Gudu as well as their contiguous villages in Borno State.

Giving details of the operation, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman said: “During the operation which is ongoing, troops discovered and destroyed over 20 well-fortified terrorist camps in the general area of Kerenowa.

“The camps include some at the gateway to Kerenowa, Gumada and Dogon Gida. In addition, the troops have also discovered that to evade aerial reconnaissance and bombardment, the terrorists have dug twin tunnels to conceal their facilities and routes in and out of the camp.

“Among facilities discovered were training areas equipped with instructional and training materials that include wooden guns, among others.

“The troops have also cleared Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, along the road linking Marte, New Marte and Kerenowa.

“It is apparent that Boko Haram terrorists lacked the will to fight as they are in obvious disarray, abandoning their camps fleeing and leaving behind vehicles, solar panels used to power devices, food and other logistics, beddings, various IEDs-making devices, cables and cords.

“The advancing troops’ morale remains very high and they exude confidence and zeal to destroy all known Boko Haram camps along their axis of advance.

“We still reiterate our call for citizens to remain confident in the ability of our troops to eliminate all remaining vestiges of the terrorists before the year runs out in line with Presidential directives.

“Citizens are also requested to kindly provide useful and credible information to the military about any known terrorists or sympathizers.”

Credit: Vanguard

Nigerian Navy Destroys 50 Illegal Refining Camps

The Central Naval Command, CNC, in Yenagoa, on Sunday destroyed 50 illegal oil refining camps and 150 drums of locally refined diesel at Asiagbene in Delta.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CNC conducted the operation in collaboration with Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS, in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta.

Real Admiral Apochi Suleiman, the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, accompanied by Commodore Sule Aliyu, NNS chief in Delta, said that the largest illegal refinery in the region was discovered during the raid.

He said that the camps, numbering about 50, as well as a boat used to convey the stolen crude for refining, were destroyed during the raid on the oil thieves.

Mr. Suleiman said that no arrest was made as the oil thieves fled on sighting the ship.

He said that the oil thieves capitalized on the difficult terrain, adding that the journey to the creek took about three hours.

“There is no room for criminals in the waterways anymore; we are flushing them out,” he said.

He advised youths in the area to engage in legitimate business as the Navy was poised to deal with all forms of illegal activities in the region.

Credit: NAN

Nigerian Troops Clear More Boko Haram Camps

The Nigerian Army says that troops advancing to clear all known Boko Haram terrorists camps towards Banki, Kumshe axis and Bama axis have cleared four more camps.

The Acting Director of Information, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, revealed this in a statement on Monday.

“The gallant troops also rescued dozen of kidnapped women and children held captive by Boko Haram terrorists.

“The clearance by ground troops and aerial bombardments by the Nigerian Air Force continues till we reach the desired objective of defeating the terrorists,” he said.

The Defence Headquarters further confirmed this via their Twitter account.


Boko Haram Camps, Cells Wiped Out- Nigerian Army

The Nigerian military on Wednesday said it has destroyed all known Boko Haram terrorists’ camps and cells in the North East.

The Defence spokesperson, Rabe Abubakar, said this at his maiden news conference, adding that the camps were destroyed by troops operating in the region.

Mr. Abubakar said the terrorists have been “so militarily defeated and weakened” that they can never hold any part of the territory in that part of the country.

He said, “These terrorists have been subdued. Even if they are adopting other means and as they are re-strategising, we are also doing same.”

The defence spokesperson said the military had been coordinating air and ground assault to make sure that terrorists’ hideouts are completely decimated.

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INEC To Conduct Polls In IDP Camps

INEC has reaffirmed its preparation to conduct elections in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC’s Chairman, Kayode Idowu, said on Tuesday that the Commission’s arrangement was limited to the three states. Idowu said that the Commission had made it clear that it could not ‘put so many irons in the fire at the same time’. “This is the first time that Nigeria was attempting an arrangement of conducting voting at designated centres for IDPs.

“So, the commission cannot extend its capacity for now beyond arrangement in those states,” he said.

He said that displaced people that wanted to vote could do so at their states where arrangement had been made for them. Idowu said though the arrangement INEC made before the counter-insurgency operations was to conduct election at safe designated centres, saying it would be too early to determine what exactly would happen. “People who are displaced can have opportunity to go and vote in the voting centres in the states if it will still be in the voting centres because events are unfolding by the day.

“By the counter-insurgency operations going on, territories are being reclaimed, we don’t know people will still be displaced or restored to their communities as we move closer to the elections,” he said.

He added that the commission was embarking on necessary preparations that would enable it conduct free, fair and credible election. Such preparation, according to Idowu, includes the Commission’s meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) by March 4, as well as the stress test of its card readers.

He said that the stress test would be conducted on March 7 in two states in each of the six geopolitical zones. The states, according to him, are Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra, Ebonyi, Delta, Rivers, Kano, Kebbi, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger and Nassarawa. “There will be a mock-poll in a whole ward. People will bring out their cards and their PVCs will be read and authenticated just like it will be done on election’s day”.

Credit: NAN

Cameroon Bombs Boko Haram, Kills 41

Nigeria’s neighbour, Cameroon, has launched air strikes against Boko Haram terrorists for the first time, killing no fewer than 41 Islamist militants after the large force of jihadists crossed the border and seized a military camp at Ashigashiya, the government said.

Cameroon’s Minister of Information, Issa Tchiroma in a statement in Yaounde, yesterday, said the coordinated assaults on five towns and villages showed a change in tactics by Boko Haram fighters, who have focused on hit-and-run raids on individual settlements in the past.

He said: “Boko Haram’s campaign to carve out an Islamist caliphate has spread from its stronghold in North-East Nigeria to neighbouring Cameroon, raising fears for an already unstable region also threatened by Islamist militants in the Sahel.

He added that Cameroon has sent thousands of soldiers to its Far North region to fight off the militants and said it launched air attacks on the movement for the first time on Sunday.

According to him, “Units of the Boko Haram group attacked Makari, Amchide, Limani and Achigachia in a change of strategy which consists of distracting Cameroonian troops on different fronts, making them more vulnerable in the face of the mobility and unpredictability of their attacks.
“No fewer than 34 militants were killed after the army laid siege to a base used by the militants in Chogori while seven others, and one soldier were killed near the town of Waza.”

Army spokesman, Lt.-Col. Didier Badjeck, told newsmen that the Islamists briefly occupied an army camp in Achigachia after a fierce fight, but withdrew after air attacks. “All the militants had now pulled back into Nigeria,” Badjeck said.

Both Tchiroma and Badjeck said it was too early to give full details of casualties. Biya orders deployment of war planes

In another statement, Cameroon’s Communications Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, said the country’s president, Paul Biya, personally ordered deployment of war planes on Sunday which forced the insurgents to flee the camp.

According to Bakary, “Fighter planes went into action for the first time since the start of the conflict on the Cameroonian side of the frontier, after several months of deadly cross-border Boko Haram raids.