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Reaction to Reuters report on Nigerian military abortion programme Reuters via biedexmarkets.com

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© Reuters. A Nigerian woman, unnamed to protect her identity, who told Reuters she received an abortion under a secret program run by the Nigerian military, poses for a portrait in an undisclosed location in Nigeria, September 28, 2020. Military leaders denied the a

(Reuters) – A Reuters investigation published on Wednesday revealed that the Nigerian Army has run a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s northeast since at least 2013.

The programme has involved terminating at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls, many of whom had been kidnapped and raped by Islamist militants, according to dozens of witness accounts and documentation reviewed by Reuters.

Here are some reactions to the report:

NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON

“My reaction to it in the first instance was a personal one in that I read it and was deeply disturbed by it. It was a harrowing report … It’s a concerning report, and for that reason we are seeking further information.”

ALICIA KEARNS, CHAIR OF UK PARLIAMENT FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

“The stories in this report are heartbreaking and – if verified – represent a large-scale, and deeply concerning, abuse of human rights.

“It is the responsibility of UK authorities to ensure that their support of the Nigerian military does not aid human rights abuses and we expect the Government to take these allegations seriously.

“The Committee will do its part and will continue to follow this story closely as part of ongoing scrutiny of the UK’s relationship with Nigeria.”

JIM RISCH, LEADING REPUBLICAN ON U.S. SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE

“This is a deeply disturbing report. Nigeria’s government, and our government, must investigate these troubling allegations. Swift action must be taken against those found to have carried out this policy of murder and violation of rights.”

CHRIS SMITH, REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

“The credible reports by Reuters implicating Nigerian officials in systematic forced abortions performed on women and girls who were kidnapped and raped by Islamic militants shock the conscience.

“The United States must stand with these victims and ensure that those involved in planning and carrying out this heinous abuse are held to account.

“Provisions I authored that were enacted into law (PL 106-113) give the Secretary of State the authority to sanction any foreign national directly involved in forced abortion.

“Secretary (of State Antony) Blinken must immediately investigate this egregious violation of human rights and take action against any Nigerian official involved or complicit in this atrocity pursuant to my legislation.”

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