Amnesty International launches report to help survivors of Boko Haram, military abuses

Amnesty International has launched a report titled: ‘Help us build our lives’: Girl survivors of Boko Haram and military abuses in north-east Nigeria”.

The report revealed the plight of girls and young women who escaped Boko Haram captivity in north- east Nigeria and faced further suffering,including unlawful detention among others.

The Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria,Isa Sanusi, during the launch in Abuja on Monday, called on the federal government to support Boko Haram survivors to reintegrate them back into the society by prioritising access to healthcare, education and vocational training.

Sanusi said that many women and girls experienced harrowing journeys lasting up to days, where they survived on what little food and water they could find.

“Thirty-one girls and young women said they were unlawfully held in military detention for anywhere between several days and almost four years between 2015 and mid-2023, typically because of their or perceived association to Boko Haram.”

Sanusi said that from there, some of the survivors were “reunited” with their surrendered Boko Haram “husbands” in a government-run transit camp, exposing them to the risk of continued abuse.

He called on the Nigerian government authorities, UN agencies and donor governments to urgently make available tailored reintegration services for these girls and young women.

The Director said that Amnesty International urged 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.

He also called on all relevant authorities,to ensure livelihood support among others to enable the survivors live well.

Also speaking, Chair Board of Trustees,Amnesty International, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani called for the need to punish both the state actors and non-state actors perpetrators of the crimes to serve as deterent to others.

Rafsanjani called for the need for provision of centre of treatment for survivors of such crimes.

He said the government has to play its part in this because civil society organisations cannot replace government.

” There are alot we can do but we are limited, but it is keenly the government that can take constituted and necessary actions to address these things.

” We only bring credible research elements so that government can take necessary actions,”he said

Rafsanjani called on security personal to treat survivors with dignity and respect ,adding that all hands must be on deck to address challenges of human rights in Nigeria.