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IDPs Deny Nigerian Military Rape Allegations At Camps in Borno

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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Contrary to the Amnesty International's recent allegation that Nigerian Military were engaged in raping IDP women and girls at designated IDPs camps using the privilege of food and non food items distribution to IDPs at camps.

IDP women and girls as well as camp officials also denied the allegations stressing that there was never any rape case on camp involving the military since the camps were opened.

In an interview with some IDP women and girls at Bakassi and Dalori I IDPs Camps in Maiduguri Friday, revealed that security provision on camps by the joint security agents of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, NPF, NSCDC, CJTF, NOA and WAI Brigade and Peace Corps was strictly observed with restriction of movement on camps from 9pm to 5 am on daily basis.

Similarly, food and non food items was usually distributed to IDPs without the involvement of the military as some IDPs and camps officials interviewed said, " Military only come in to provide security or settle disputes during distribution of food or items wehenver the matter arises. The military are not involved in distribution. The WHO officials distributes the food themselves.

Speaking to journalists at Dalori I IDPs Camp, the Camp Chairman in charge of Bama and Konduga LGAs IDPs at the camp , Alhaji Bukar Lambari said,'we have about 7000 IDPs now in camp from both Bama and Konduga LGAs and have never heard or received any rape case in the Camp involving any military man".

"All we know about the military at the camp is security and nothing more. This is even my first time of hearing this allegation as it is a lie just to smear the integrity of the military who are busy providing us with security day and night along with other security agents in camp.

" May be the Amnesty International wants to instigate or provoke the military to withdraw their services at the camp in order for the enemies of government and IDPs to come to the Camp and cause havoc or trouble again.

"You people can go round and ask the women ad girls themselves to ascertain what i am saying as their leader that none of the Women or girl IDP has ever reported to us any rape case involving a military man since our stay here at the camp except for other cases which involved cases of stealing, fight, disputes and conflicts among others," Bukar said.

According to him, the WHO officials share or distribute food at the camp and the military has never interfered neither involved themselves, notinglike that, it was a molestation and allegation with political under tone to rubbish the efforts and sacrifices of the military in restoration of peace in the state.

The Dalori I IDPs Camp Coordinator, Mrs. Ndas Zamdai also denied such allegation describing the allegation as false and unfounded.

At the Bakassi IDPs Camp along Damboa Biu Road, the NEMA Manager, Ali says that there was never such a case at the camp. There are usually 7 Nigerian army, 4 NAF offclals, 4 NIS, 98 NPF, 48 NSCDC, 259 Vigilante Group and CJTF, 10 Peace Corp , 10 NOA and WAI Brigade as well as 5 Police Stations were avaialble at the camp in duty 24 hours and surveillance on camp daily especially at night between 9pm and 5 am by the CJTF and Vigilante Groups.

An IDP woman Hadiza Gonin from Marte LGA said there was no such issue and they have never heard of such. While Aishatu Abatcha said she never heard of such case in the camp, stating that such allegation could be targeted at causing trouble at the camp or putting a barrier between the women IDPs and the military providing them with security..

Similarly, a CJTF on duty, Limits Ali Bashir said it was a false statement because they have never left their duty post to allow any lapse and never heard of such case in the camp.

Babakura Mustapha, a CJTF at the Bakassi Camp also denied the allegation of rape case at IDPs camp involving any military man just as Hajiya Kale Mohammed also said that military presence at the camp was when security issue was needed and they never see them on camp again.

The Human Rights IDPs Camp Mobile Court Registrar, Mustapha Isa Isge's father denied the allegation and said so far the court has never received such case except other cases involving fight, disputes and conflict between individual IDPs and their families.