Joint Statement: Heinous crimes against children and women in Nigeria must face justice
Date : 2014.05.09
KILLING AND ABDUCTING CHILDREN FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION BY THE BOKO HARAM ARE WAR CRIMES THAT MUST NOT BE CONDONED
Terrorism in Nigeria, though it is a recent phenomenon, is assuming a dangerous trend with the Boko Haram sect targeting children especially girls and women as weapons for their agitations. In February 2014, over 49 young boys in their boarding school were brutally murdered in a gruesome attack at night in Yobe State, North Eastern part of Nigeria. A few months’ earlier, 27 girls and women were abducted by the Boko Haram and are yet to be found.
On April 14, about 270 school girls were abducted in Chibok Borno State and are reported to be sold into sexual slavery by the Boko Haram sect. Since the horrific incident, Boko Haram has periodically abducted more girls and women and killed defenseless boys and men under the pretext of propagating Islamic Religion and opposition to western education.
Nigeria remains a multi religious country where the citizens have the freedom to practice the religion of their choice. There is no religious crisis or war in Nigeria. The dastardly acts of the Boko Haram in Nigeria are against both Christians and Muslim women and children. These acts constitute heinous crimes against humanity in which the whole world should condemn its entirety irrespective of religious or political affiliations. The young boys killed were a colossal human loss and the girls abducted for sexual exploitation are the future of the nation whose education has been truncated and their lives have traumatized irreparably.
We therefore call on the community of nations, especially the Islamic community and African Union, to categorically condemn these atrocities and inhuman acts of the Boko Haram as they are un-Islamic and constitute war crimes.
We also call all nations to provide for support for the rescue of the abducted girls and women in the Boko Haram. In particular we call on the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africans States) military and ECOMOG (ECOWAS Monitoring Group) to assist in the rescue of the children and women in captivity as well as dismantle the Boko Haram across the borders of Nigeria with Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
We request the Special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences to prepare a special report on this matter to the UN Human Rights Council.
We demand the Boko Haram perpetrators to be brought into justice for the heinous crimes committed against humanity
We implore all nations in celebration of this year’s International Children’s day on May 27, 2014 to remember the child victims of Boko Haram attacks and commemorate by wearing red caps, scarves and arm bands for the delay. The use of women and children as weapons of conflicts must stop now.
Enough is enough. We must take action to end impunity.*JOINT STATEMENT ISSUED BY WOMEN CONSORTIUM OF NIGERIA (WOCON), INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT AGAINST ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AND RACISM (IMADR) & WOMEN IN LAW AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (WILDAF) NIGERIA