Nigeria : Women continue to be targeted by Boko Haram

Press release
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More than two months after the abduction on April 14, 2014, of 223 schoolgirls at Chibok, the fundamentalist jihadist sect Boko Haram is pursuing its attacks – the last one took place in Maïduguri on the 1st of July and killed more than 15 people – and is continuing to target women. FIDH calls on the Government of Nigeria and the international community to place respect for women’s and human rights at the heart of their strategy against Boko Haram and against terrorism in the Sahel.

During the week of June 16, the terrorist group Boko Haram attacked several isolated villages, including Kummabza (Damboa locality) in the State of Borno, in north-eastern Nigeria, and reportedly abducted around another 60 women and girls, and 31 young boys. With this new attack, the number of women abducted during the last two months reaches 250, over 300 persons in all. On June 7, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 8 more women in the same town, Chibok.

The fact that they kidnap women is significant of the reactionary, sexist and domineering nature of Boko Haram. The group pushes to its extreme consequences an unacceptable vision of the role of women in society. Our organisation calls on the Government of Nigeria and the international community to include in its fight against Boko Haram political, social and Human Rights considerations declared Karim Lahidji at the close of the FIDH International Board meeting in Paris.

Boko Haram is pursuing its campaign of terror with a succession of attacks in Nigeria: around twenty during the last two months, causing over 300 military and civilian deaths. Whereas Boko Haram’s actions are increasing in frequency and intensity, the Nigerian military response remains inadequate. In addition to the very numerous violations of Human Rights committed by the Nigerian military in the framework of the fight against Boko Haram, a large number of popular militia have been set up to fight the terrorist sect, such as the Maïduguri Civil Joint Task Force (CJTF), which reportedly has committed over 2,000 violations.

Respect for Human Rights in the fight against Boko Haram is essential for the long term elimination of the causes of terrorism. Ensuring respect for women’s rights and the economic development of the regions where the sect is active would contribute to the eventual cessation of Boko Haram’s activities, declared Alice Mogwe, FIDH Secretary General.

FIDH will continue to raise the issue of Boko Haram’s crimes with the Government of Nigeria and the whole of the international community.

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