More than 200 girls rescued recently from Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria are feared to be pregnant amid reports of widespread rape and sexual abuse by the terrorist group, according to Australia’s News.com.
About 275 women and children were brought to a camp over the weekend, following a Nigerian military operation to free them from the terror group’s former Sambisa Forest stronghold, the report says.
The International Business Times reports that the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said that 214 of the rescued girls were “visibly pregnant.”
Military officials said the liberated group of girls does not include hundreds that were kidnapped from school a year ago in April. The kidnappings last year generated a global social media campaign that called for their return, including a poignant plea from First Lady Michelle Obama.
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) May 7, 2014
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said those not receiving treatment in hospital would receive “all the support they require” as they come to terms with their ordeal.
“We are working out the long-term support they need,” NEMA spokesman Manzo Ezekiel said. “They need trauma management so they’re not treated as outcasts when they go back to society.”
Two women described how militant fighters tried to force them into marrying rebels after they were captured and how their escape turned to tragedy as at least three women were killed by landmines.
We hope these women and children continue to receive the all-important medical and mental health care they deserve and require after their traumatic experiences.