HRW: Boko Haram abductions and abuses continue

Militant group Boko Haram has forced kidnapped women and girls to marry their captors and begun using them for military tactical purposes, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Oct. 27. HRW interviewed 30 individuals who were abducted by the group between April 2013 and April 2014 and later managed to escape, and 16 others who saw the abductions. Among those interviewed were 12 girls who were among the approximately 300 abducted from a school in Chibok in April. According to the advocacy group, more than 500 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2009, about 30 of whom were taken just last week. The group, taken from Borno state, included girls as young as 11. At least 40 women and girls were taken in Adamawa a week prior, despite government claims of a ceasefire deal. Once at the camps, the kidnapped girls are reportedly forced to perform household chores and are often exposed to rape, forced marriage and violence. One woman recounted that she was threatened with death until she converted to Islam. HRW criticized authorities for not doing enough to prevent the kidnappings, for not working to bring the perpetrators to justice, and for not providing survivors with adequate support and medical care.

From Jurist, Oct. 27. Used with permission.

  1. Nigeria school blast kills dozens

    At least 46 students were killed by a suicide bomber at a school assembly in the northeastern Nigerian town of Potiskum, Yobe state. The state's governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has shut all public schools around Potiskum and criticised the government for not tackling Boko Haram. (BBC News)

  2. Boko Haram takes Chibok

    Despite reports of a ceasefire last month, fighting continued in Nigeria's northeast, with Boko on Nov, 14 seizing the town of Chibok—the same from where they kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in April. (BBC News) The ceasefire reports were met with fruitless speculation that the girls were about to be released.

  3. Chibok: who is in control?

    Government forces have driven Boko Haram from Chibok, but much of the fighting seems to have been done not by the army but the paramilitary Civilian Joint Task Force, which continues to patrol the town. When they were in control of Chibok, Boko Haram militants torched its churches, though most of the town was already mostly in ruins after the attack in April that ended with the girls being taken. (The News Nigeria, NPR)