Alleged Mass Abortion By Army In Northeast: Amnesty Int’l Calls For Probe

By Adadainfo

The Amnesty International Nigeria, Friday, called for probe into alleged abortions by the Nigerian Army in the Boko-Haram ravaged Northeast Nigeria.

Reuters reported an alleged ‘secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s northeast since at least 2013′, which was published Wednesday.

Reuters claimed that over 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls who were kidnapped and raped by bandits were terminated without the mothers’ consent.

To that end, Amnesty International has called on the federal government to probe the report.

Amnesty International said Nigeria being a signatory to the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) should unravel the truth of the matter.

According to the release, “Amnesty International is deeply concerned by the findings of an investigative report by the Reuters News Agency, which reveals that the Nigerian Army has carried out secret, systematic and forced abortions terminating at least 10,000 pregnancies of women and girls, many of whom had been kidnapped and raped by Islamist militants.

“Such forced abortions constitute gender-based violence that may amount to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Nigeria’s chief of defence staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, Thursday, had said, “It’s outright nonsense. It’s not true. That is outright nonsense. Their allusion is news to me. It never occurred. I never saw anything like that from Maiduguri down to Maimalamari cantonment where I lived.

“There is a major hospital for our personnel and their family. I am disappointed to say the least. It is not true. I was informed by the director of defence information about a mail from Reuters requesting an interview with me. And he gave me a letter written by one Alexander making allegations that have now been published by Reuters.

“I simply said he should go back to the person and answer their questions, but I’m not going to dignify such a report.

“You’re saying the military, since 2013, has been engaged in a planned abortion programme. And he said that is part of the government’s design. In that letter, he said that 12,000 abortions have been conducted. But in the published report, we saw ‘at least 10,000’.

“The Armed Forces are peopled by people from 774 local government areas of this country. And there is no single unit or formation where you have only a group of soldiers coming from a particular part of the country.

“So, what will be the interest? Sometimes, the consciousness of the people is what has been transmitted to their consciousness. Perhaps, it might be necessary to interrogate them and see how we can reconscientise our people to know that we are in this together.”

Adadainfo is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: Phone: 08071790941

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