Investigate report of forced abortions, UN tells Nigerian government

New York—United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has called on the Nigerian government to investigate allegations of systemic and coerced abortions reportedly perpetrated by the Nigerian army, U.N spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday.

A Wednesday, December 7 report by Reuters alleged that the Nigerian Army has been running a secret and illegal abortion programme in the country’s northeast since at least 2013.

The secret programme involved terminating at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls, many of whom had been kidnapped and raped by Islamist militants, the report alleged.

Now the UN secretary-general has urged the FG to carry out an investigation into the claims.

“The Secretary-General takes note with concern of the allegations of systemic and coerced abortions reportedly perpetrated by the Nigerian Army against women and girls who had already been victimized by Boko Haram,” Dujarric said in an email to Reuters.
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He called for a thorough investigation and “immediate remedial actions and accountability measures,” if such measures were necessary.

“We call on the Nigerian authorities to fully investigate these allegations and make sure there’s accountability,” Dujarric told reporters later on Friday.

Previously on Thursday, Nigeria’s defence chief said the military will not investigate the report, saying it was not true. 

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