Soldiers, CJTF Demand Sex To Give Us Food – Detained Women

By Ikenga Chronicles March 13, 2018

Soldiers, CJTF Demand Sex To Give Us Food – Detained Women

Wives of detained Boko Haram suspects have written to President Muhammadu Buhari revealing that they are being raped by soldiers and made to trade sex for food in the camp.

This allegation was contained in an open letter dated March 1, written by this group of displaced women who are still in various military detention centres in Borno state.

“We were not allowed to leave the camp (managed by soldiers) and not given enough food but instead asked to pay for extra food. When we didn’t have anything left, they asked for sex; young women were to have sex with the Civilian-Joint Task Force (CJTF) members and soldiers to be able to feed their children,” they wrote.

In the 4-page letter, the aggrieved women said they have unionised under a group known as ‘Knifa Movement’.

They claimed the Nigerian military was holding 1,269 persons who are either their husbands or children, on the allegations that they were members of Boko Haram.

“Our story is a story of suffering: In 2015 and 2016, we were kept in the horrific conditions in Bama Hospital camp, which was at that time run by the military and CJTF. We were not allowed to leave the camp and were not given enough food but instead, asked to pay for extra food. First, we sold our jewellery. Then we sold our clothes. When we didn’t have anything left, they asked for sex. Young women were to have sex with the Civilian-JTF members and soldiers to be able to feed their children. Rape by the Civilian-JTF and soldiers were rampant.

“We were starved and forced to give our bodies in exchange for food. We saw our children die and there was nothing we could do. Hundreds of people lost their lives in Bama Hospital camp – we in our group alone know 799 people who died. We were the silent witnesses of immense suffering,” they wrote.

“In the last months, many of us have gone out of the camps to farm and collect firewood to earn a living. But there have been several attacks by Boko Haram nearby. One of our members lost her husband who went out to collect firewood. He had been released from the Giwa barracks some months ago. We are scared to go out of the camp but we do need to eat.

“Most of us lived with Boko Haram for months and we know what they we are capable of. They killed our relatives, abducted our sons, raped our daughters. We consider ourselves lucky that we came out alive. Living under Boko Haram was hell.”

The women said they were deeply worried that Boko Haram members who were held at Operation Safe Corridor in Gombe state are now being sent to their communities.

“How can those criminals who killed and raped our people be allowed to live amongst us again, while our husbands, who are innocent, are still detained,” they wrote.

“We want to offer our best cooperation to prosecute the real Boko Haram members. But no one has asked us for our statement on what happened in the past years. We are pleading with you to give all victims of this [these] conflicts the opportunity to testify before a court of law.”

They said they were ready to participate in any further investigation.

But the military command in Borno state has vehemently dismissed the allegations which it described as a cheap and baseless allegation possibly crafted to dampen the morale of troops.

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