Following reports that some victims of Boko Haram who fled the insurgency are being sexually abused by police officers, the Nigerian government has deployed 100 female police officers to the IDP camp in Borno.
Earlier this month, reports by Human Rights Watch exposed the sexual abuse experienced by Boko Haram refugees in IDP camps.
HRW reported that 43 women and girls have been raped or sexually exploited by the “camp leaders, vigilante groups, policemen, and soldiers” at the IDP in Borno, north-eastern Nigeria.
“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horri›c trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram.
“It is disgraceful and outrageous that people who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them.”
President Buhari expressed his distress with the report adding that it will not be taken lightly and investigations will be carried out.
“Four of the victims told Human Rights Watch that they were drugged and raped, while 37 were coerced into sex through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance,” the report stated. It also added that some of the women who got pregnant as a result were abandoned rather than being married as promised.
The female police officers deployed are expected to “ensure the protection of women and girls in displaced people’s camps — and dig out the true happenings, as he put it, in the shelters,” NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton told Premium Times.
Nonetheless, male officers will still be stationed at the camps but their roles will be limited to “handling of the territorial coverage and patrol [within] the camps.”
The female officers, on the other hand, will be more involved in the day-to-day interaction within the camps.