US surveillance planes have spotted Nigerian schoolgirls three months after they were abducted by Boko Haram.
Members of Boko Haram are coercing the abducted schoolgirls into marrying them, a report said.Reuters

Watchlist, an international network of human rights and humanitarian non-government organizations that aims to end cruelty against children in armed conflicts, said that the boys and girls abducted by the armed militants, including the hundreds of Christian girls, have been forced into marrying members of the group.

The militant group "forcibly converts the Christian women and girls they capture to Islam and often coerces them and other female abductees into marriage," the group said in a comprehensive report. "On occasion, JAS (Boko Haram) members have raped and sexually exploited women and girls in their camps".

"Bokko Haram abducted these girls and young women from schools and markets, and during raids on villages in areas across Borno State since at least December 2012," the group added. 

The 64-page report entitled "Who Will Care for Us? Grave Violations Against Children in North-eastern Nigeria" painted a very grim picture of how the children were suffering, with boys and girls being subjected to forced recruitment, detention, attacks at school, abductions, rape and many other forms of sexual violence in the north-east of Nigeria.

"The conflict...has displace an estimated 650,000 people, primarily women and children, and affected millions of others, " the report said, adding that the seriousness of these abuses came to the forefront when the militant group, also know by the name 'JAS' abducted over 200 girls from Chibok in Borno State in April – an event that sparked international outcry.

"The gravity and scale of these violations warrant urgent action from teh Nigerian government, United Nations and other child protection actors," it said.

This comes as reports from Nigeria suggested that a 10,000-strong vigilante group declared total war on Boko Haram, as corpses littered the streets of Bama town on Thursday, two days after the town was seized by the insurgents.

The group, which includes youth volunteers, retired military personnel and patriotic citizens, have now vowed to storm Sambisa Forest, the insurgents' famous camp saying: "Enough is enough", local newspapers reported.