ABUJA, Nigeria — Some of the women who were recently rescued from the clutches of the Islamic terror group Boko Haram are speaking out about the sexual and emotional abuse they suffered at the hands of their captors, who demanded under threat of death that they convert to Islam.
As previously reported, last month, the Nigerian army rescued nearly 700 captured women and children that were found in the Sambisa Forest and near Chalawa Village in Adamawa State. When the women were brought in for medical examinations, it was discovered that over 200 of them were pregnant.
“Boko Haram insurgents deliberately raped women with the intention of getting them pregnant so they would give birth to future insurgents as successors of their violent struggles, hence the need for a special program to break the chain anticipated by the insurgents,” Isa Gusau, spokesperson for Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, told reporters, according to the Nigerian publication “The Leadership.”
Now, some of the women who were rescued from Boko Haram are talking about their life in captivity, sharing horrifying details of sex slavery and forced conversion.
“I was abducted six months ago in Delsak when our village was overrun by Boko Haram. First I had sojourned from my village to a forest close to Cameroun, they turned me into a sex machine. They took turns to sleep with me. Now, I am pregnant and I cannot identify the father,” Asabe Aliyu, a 23-year-old mother of four, told the Nigerian Newspaper the Daily Times.
She said that at times she coughs up blood from the internal injuries she suffered from beatings.
“Every day they would come around and tell us we were infidels, that we should convert and accept their religion,” 27-year-old Lami Musa told the BBC.
“They told us that if we do not convert to Islam, they will slit our throats,” said 15-year-old Abigail John. “They said they would marry us off … and would marry us to their members who are single.”
Nana Mousa, 23, told reporters that the women had no choice but to leave their homes and obey the orders of the terrorist group.
“They entered our houses, firing their guns, and chased us out,” she said. “We were scared, but they told us that if we didn’t come with them, they would beat us. During our time in the Sambisa Forest, we only got one meal a day, but they said that if we tried to run away, they would shoot us.”
Maryamu Adamu (no age provided), has yet to be reunited with her husband and children—that is, if they were not murdered by the group. She told reporters that she is just glad to be alive.
“I know I was dead; my existing now is just a mere shadow of life as nothing moves me. But now that I am here, I confirm that I am a living being,” Adamu said. “I thank God that I am alive. I thank God.”
Boko Haram, which being translated means, “Western education is sinful,” has been seeking to build it own caliphate in Northern Africa, a part of the continent that is predominantly Christian. The group has killed thousands since it stepped up its attacks in 2009, often targeting churches and those who are non-Muslim.
As previously reported, last August, after taking over a Nigerian town that is largely inhabited by Christians, leader Abubakar Shekau released a video stating that Muslims were commanded by Allah to rule the world.”
“Allah commands us to rule Gwoza by Islamic law,” he declared. “In fact, he commands us to rule the rest of the world, not only Nigeria, and now we have started.”