Nigerian Army React To Allegations Of Condoning Sexual Abuse, Torture Of Children In Custody
May. 29, 2020
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has disputed reports by the Amnesty International that it condones the torture and sexual abuse of children alleged to have links to Boko Haram terrorists.
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The global rights group in a report published on Wednesday, claimed that the children were locked up together with adult terrorists who sexually abuse them as military officials look away.
The 91-page report titled, ‘We dried our tears: Addressing the toll on children of Northeast Nigeria’s conflict’ was published to commemorate Children’s Day.
The report read in part, “The Nigerian military’s treatment of those who escape such brutality has also been appalling. From mass, unlawful detention in inhumane conditions, to meting out beatings and torture and allowing sexual abuse by adult inmates – it defies belief that children anywhere would be so grievously harmed by the very authorities charged with their protection.”
“Most such detentions are unlawful; children are never charged or prosecuted for any crime and are denied the rights to access a lawyer, appear before a judge, or communicate with their families. The widespread unlawful detentions may amount to a crime against humanity,” the report added.
But Major General John Enenche, the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations in response to the allegations said the Amnesty is always out to undermine the success and efforts of the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency.
He said, “Why is it that every time we are recording success, they will come up with their report?
“All the allegations are all lies. None is true. Patriotic Nigerians are already reacting. To say that we are touring children is ridiculous. We are party to the international convention on war.
“How about the people, the women and children we have rescued and vaccinated?. The purpose is to discourage those who are supporting us”.
The Defence spokesperson also affirmed that there is no scheduled date to end the decade-old war against insurgency in the North-east.
Enenche added, “There is no time that there will not be casualty. I cannot say but that the casualty figure will be reduced, yes.
“There is no mathematical end to the war. The Bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked. We will get there. I assure Nigerians that the situation would be normalised."
Also commenting on the crisis in the northeast, Enenche noted there are fears of armed bandits escaping from states where troops are currently conducting various operations.
He said proactive measures were in place to handle such occurrences and further revealed that air assets had been deployed to cover Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states.
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