ABUJA, Nigeria, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Some 19 women forced into refugee camps by flooding in Nigeria have been victims of rape, camp residents say.
The assaults have occurred in four camps in Benue state in the southern part of the country, This Day newspaper reported Tuesday.
Sexual assaults have become a "daily occurrence" at the camps set up by the state government, a source told the newspaper. This Day said a lack of security within the camps and a lack of privacy had created a climate for the assaults.
Many residents said the overcrowded conditions in some of the camps had made women vulnerable and could lead to other criminal acts.
One man hinted that adult men in the camps might have to organize vigilante groups.
A spokesman for the Benue state police said the sexual assaults had not been reported to the police, but that security around the camps would be strengthened.
Floods in this country of 130 million have pushed hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes and have not left the country's leaders unaffected.
The country home of President Goodluck Jonathan in Bayelsa state, on the Atlantic coast, was partially submerged Monday, the Leadership newspaper reported.
Bayelsa Gov. Seriake Dickson ordered the immediate evacuation of the community where the president's home is located.
Dickson said the governor's residence might soon be flooded as well.
"Very soon, I may become a refugee like many other displaced persons in the state," he told reporters.
About 85 percent of the state has been flooded.
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