Wednesday, April 13, 2016 7:06 am
To escape sexual abuse and constant hunger, girls captured by Boko Haram in Nigeria volunteer to become suicide bombers.
One of the women who escaped from the terrorists clutches said many of the young women take the shocking decision as a last resort to try and escape the jihadi group, even if it costs them their life.
The woman who spoke with CNN revealed that the young bombers don’t believe in the radical ideology of the group but rather they want to run away from the nightmare conditions.
They would ask, ‘Who wants to be a suicide bomber?’ The girls would shout, ‘me, me, me.’ They were fighting to do the suicide bombings,’ Fati, a survivor of Boko Haram, told CNN.
Fati said that the militants turned up at her village, demanding to take the young girls to marry them off to their fighters. When the girls said they were too young, they were seized by force.
She said that some of the young girls living in Boko Haram’s base in the Sambisa forest were from the large group of schoolgirls taken from Chibok.
She recalled the terrifying conditions inside the camps, which were regularly attacked by the Nigerian army, forcing the Islamists to move on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, UNICEF said Boko Haram child suicide bombings have surged 11-fold in West Africa over the last year, with children as young as 8, mostly girls, detonating bombs in schools and markets.
Suicide bombings have spread beyond Nigeria’s borders, with an increasing number of deadly attacks carried out by children with explosives hidden under their clothes or in baskets.
‘The use of children, especially girls, as so-called suicide bombers has become a defining and alarming feature of this conflict,’ said Laurent Duvillier, regional spokesman for UNICEF.
‘It’s basically turning the children against their own communities by strapping bombs around their bodies,’ he said.
There were 44 child suicide bombings in West Africa last year, up from four in 2014, UNICEF said, mostly in Cameroon and Nigeria.