Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chibok Girls Anniversary: Female Boko Haram Abductee Trained to Fight Speaks Out

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Today marks the one-year anniversary of the April 14, 2014 mass abduction by Boko Haram of almost 300 Nigerian schoolgirls in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok. Amnesty International has now released a report called, 'Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill': Boko Haram's reign of terror in north east Nigeria, which is based on nearly 200 witness accounts, including 28 with abducted women and girls who escaped captivity.

The report is accompanied by a video of Boko Haram's female fighters mostly made of abducted girls and women. In the video, 19-year-old Aisha speaks of how during the months she was held captive, she was raped repeatedly, sometimes by groups of several fighters. She witnessed her sister being killed as well as up to 50 people who refused to convert or get trained. Aisha accepted to be trained to fight and was sent on an operation to attack her village. She escaped after 4 months. See the video below...

Aisha says she was abducted from a friend’s wedding in September 2014 along with her sister, the bride and the bride’s sister. Boko Haram took them to a camp in Gullak, Adamawa state, home to approximately 100 abducted girls. One week later, Boko Haram forced the bride and the bride’s sister to marry their fighters.

On being trained to fight.

“They used to train girls how to shoot guns. I was among the girls trained to shoot. I was also trained how to use bombs and how to attack a village. This training went on for three weeks after we arrived. Then they started sending some of us to operations. I went on one operation to my own village.”

On those who were killed;

“Some of them refused to convert. Some refused to learn how to kill others. They were buried in a mass grave in the bush. They’ll just pack the dead bodies and dump them in a big hole, but not deep enough. I didn’t see the hole, but we used to get the smell from the dead bodies when they start getting rotten.”

In the 90-page report, Amnesty International says at least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since the start of 2014 and many have been forced into sexual slavery and trained to fight. The report also documents multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Boko Haram, including the killing of at least 5,500 civilians, as it rampaged across north-east Nigeria during 2014 and early 2015.

The report sheds new light on the brutal methods used by the armed group in north-east Nigeria where men and boys are regularly conscripted or systematically executed and young women and girls are abducted, imprisoned and in some cases raped, forcibly married and made to participate in armed attacks, sometimes on their own towns and villages.

Read More: Amnesty International, Full report: HERE.

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