A group of armed men kidnapped 15 girls overnight in southeastern Niger, the local mayor said on November 24. (Photo: illustration).
Boukar Mani Orthe, the mayor of Toumour in Diffa region near the border with Nigeria, said about 50 unidentified armed men seized the girls in a village about 9 km from the town centre.
Government and rebel forces in South Sudan abducted hundreds of women and girls this year and many have been raped and forced into sexual slavery, the UN mission to the country informed.
Other young people were forced to become child soldiers, according to a report by the UN Mission in South Sudan, which said that many of those abducted remain in the hands of their captors.
The abuses were committed during a civil war by forces loyal to the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels fighting for Riek Machar. The abductions violate international law and may amount to war crimes, the report said.
“The girls are sometimes only 12 years old and were chosen as wives for the military. They had to parade in front of them and they (soldiers) could choose whomever they wanted. They used them and of course they were raped and (subjected to) sexual slavery,” the report said.