Remarks En Route Nigeria

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
En Route Nigeria
August 11, 2009

QUESTION: I just want to know what your offer about -- today, especially (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, you know, I've been in a lot of very difficult and terrible settings in my years. And I was just overwhelmed by what I saw, both in the camp and in the conversation (inaudible) and I had with two women who met with us.

It is almost impossible to describe the level of suffering and despair, in the camp, particularly. I've been in camps, (inaudible). It is just tragic, to see 10,000 people in that space. And still, you know, children are still, you know, dying of malnutrition, they're dying of diarrhea, they're dying of malaria, the women are getting raped, they (inaudible) the confines of the camp. It's just horrific.

And we met the two women (inaudible), incredibly, brutally, horribly attacked, and suffered extreme injuries. Thanks to that hospital, they are at least alive. As one of the women said, you know, her husband was killed. Her older children heard the guns, went out and they were killed, and she felt abandoned. So they came back into the house, her other two children that they brutally raped (inaudible).

And the other woman is a young woman living with her husband. And she was eight months' pregnant. And she was attacked. They beat her very badly, and killed the baby and left her for dead. And it wasn't quite clear -- they were telling (inaudible) people came to try to help her, and the baby was dead, and they had to -- the nearest health facility was 85 kilometers. They couldn't carry her all that way, and she would have died anyway, because of her toxemia. So they -- you know, the people around her got the baby out (inaudible) and packed her cavity with grasses, which prevented her from bleeding. And she ended up going to the hospital.

And I said, "Well, how did you end up in a hospital (inaudible)?" He said, "Well, we send people out in the forest to find these women." What an amazing guy (inaudible) going out into the forest, rescuing women who have been brutally, savaging, inhumanely attacked, and just left there. It was an incredibly emotional (inaudible).