Army denies sexual assaults, tape of Borno IDP camps
The Nigerian Army, yesterday, denied any molestation, sexual assaults or rape of female Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) any camp in Borno State, as alleged by Amnesty International (AI).
Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig-Gen. John Agim, at a news conference at the Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, said it has also been established that soldiers are not deployed to Bakassi and Dalori camps in the state capital visited yesterday by journalists.
According to him, the two camps have a population of over 43,000 IDPs from seven councils, with no reported cases of either sexual assaults or rape by any soldier.
“For the military, particularly on general based violence, rape is an outright aberration,” which is grievous and cannot go unpunished.
He said ‘blanket allegation and insinuations,’ as contained in the AI report against the Armed Forces, are rather ineffective methodologies to address this ill, adding: “It is, therefore, high time we address this issue squarely, rather that resorting to blanket allegations.”
According to Agim, the Armed Forces do not condone rape, insisting there are no rapists among soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgency.
He said the military has several measures in place to regulated the conduct of troops and define their relationships with members of host communities, saying before troops are deployed in the frontlines, they are made to undergo mandatory pre-induction training for five weeks on fundamental human rights, international law of armed conflicts, rules of engagement and gender-based violence.
“A code of conduct to regulate the conduct of operation is printed in hard copies and distributed to troops during the pre-induction training before they are finally deployed,” he said.
No comments yet