LAGOS (AFP) – Boko Haram has used kidnapped young women and girls on the front-lines of its insurgency, according to a new report published on Monday, after a fresh abduction in Nigeria’s far northeast.
Human Rights Watch made the claim as it outlined testimony from dozens of former hostages who documented physical and psychological abuse at the hands of the militants.
Suspected Boko Haram fighters kidnapped about 30 children, including girls as young as 11, in Borno state at the weekend. A week earlier, at least 40 women and girls were seized in neighbouring Adamawa.
Both kidnappings – and continued violence in northeast Nigeria and northern Cameroon – have cast doubt on government claims of a ceasefire deal and agreement for the release of 219 schoolgirls held since April.
In the human rights report, one 19-year-old woman who was held in militant camps for three months last year said she was forced to participate in Boko Haram attacks.