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Abortion: A Military Strategy Against Terrorism

No doubt, over the years, the Nigerian military has suffered many setbacks in its battle against the Islamic insurgents and terrorist groups in Northern Nigeria, especially in Borno State. However, recently, the military boasted of its success in killing over 250 members of the notorious Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) sect.

Despite the news of the recent successes, a new report of the Nigerian military participating in the strategy of forced abortion performed on the girls raped by the Islamic militants has thrown human rights organizations and civil societies into shock and dismay.

According to Reuters, since 2013, the Nigerian military has secretly terminated 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls kidnapped by violent Islamic groups. The new finding has been widely condemned by international organizations such as Amnesty International and some members of the U.S. Congress.

The motive behind the heinous act stemmed from senior military officers who believed the offspring of the militants would most likely be picking up arms against the nation in the future. As a result, multiple women who resisted the military suffered beatings and abuses. Some other victims who resisted were drugged into submission or held at gunpoint, of which some were girls as young as 12 years.

“One of the soldiers beat me, saying that it’s a bastard child from a Boko Haram pregnancy. He hit me with a gun,” said a 24-year-old victim, reported by FOX News. Under the United Nations’ Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), recognizes that traditional gender and stereotypes must be eliminated in order to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

Due to Nigeria being a signatory to the treaty, it’s imperative that the Nigerian government investigates these serious allegations and prosecutes the officers involved in the scheme.

Human Rights Foundation outrightly condemns the alleged actions of the Nigerian military. This is unacceptable!
HRF provided free legal representation for indigent client, A.O. Akinrelere. He was discharged and acquitted on December 13, 2022, after being incarcerated for 37 months.

L-R: Released client, A.O. Akinrelere, and HRF-West Regional Coordinator, A.Y. Aliyu, at Ondo State High Court, Akure, Ondo State.

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