Women Who Fled Boko Haram Tell of Devastation and, Rarely, Hope

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“I am a mom now,” she said. Asked about her parents, she started to cry and pronounced something in Hausa. A lady station circuitously translated: “It heedfulness her heart,” she said. “She can’t speak anymore.”

Nearby, Fatimah Hassan was sitting on a pad on a ground. For 4 months final year, her encampment was assigned by Boko Haram. But “I was not raped,” pronounced Ms. Hassan, 51. “I am an aged woman. They wanted a girls.”

Ms. Power met some of a women in a camp, yet many were kept during a distance.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

A few miles down a road, Christiana Joel, 14, pronounced she was during church for a children’s day in Apr 2015 when Boko Haram fighters pounded her encampment of Lassa, in Borno State. Her father hustled her and her 8 brothers and sisters behind to their house, told them to leave usually when it started looking unequivocally bad, grabbed his gun and took off to quarrel a Boko Haram militants. When a children eventually bolted from their house, Christiana’s oldest brother, Levi, left in a melee. She has not seen him since, and seemed overcome when she spoke of him. She pronounced he was her favorite brother.

Maria Saidi, 26, kept restrained by Boko Haram for some-more than a year outward Maiduguri, pronounced she was churned — 20 lashes — a initial time she attempted to escape. Then, 4 months ago, after some-more than a year with Boko Haram, she pronounced she was forcibly married to a fighter, coincidentally one with her same final name of Saidi. Early a subsequent day, while her new father was doing his morning prayers, she bolted. Four months later, she still feels a bruises from a whipping.

But shun doesn’t indispensably move solace.

Hussaina Jidda, 26, ran divided from her encampment of Madagali in Feb when Boko Haram came. She eventually done it, with her baby, to Yola. Her 4 nieces were not so lucky. They were all kidnapped. Three of them sojourn missing.

One of them got divided after dual months with Boko Haram, during that she pronounced she was forcibly married, raped and impregnated. The woman, Bilkisu Jidda, 20, returned to Madagali after using divided into a brush during night. Her mother, a mom of Mrs. Jidda’s brother, supposed her behind again.

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Most of a rest of a encampment did not.

“They keep indicating during her, observant she is a mom of Boko Haram, when she comes out of a house,” Mrs. Jidda said.

Eight months after her escape, Bilkisu Jidda had her baby, a boy. She named him Hamidu. She is holding caring of her son as best as she can, though many of a time she keeps him in her mother’s house, divided from a village, her aunt said. When mom and baby go out, “everyone calls him Boko Haram son,” Mrs. Jidda said.

“She used to be a happy girl. But now all her friends are kidnapped — she doesn’t giggle anymore.”

Mummy Ibrahim still manages to laugh. Waiting for Ms. Power to travel by as she sat on her mat, Mummy Ibrahim, who had fled her encampment before her next-door-neighbor-turned-Boko-fighter could get his hands on her, was knitting a shawl out of a purple round of chronicle and deliberating her skeleton for her future.

When she initial listened him announce that he dictated to forcibly marry her, “I was so scared,” Mummy Ibrahim said. But now, she’s creation plans. In credentials for a revisit of a American delegation, she had dressed up: lilac eye shadow, kohl-rimmed eyes, rose lipstick and 3 artistic scarves around her head, any one echoing colors in her conservatively cut gown.

“I will be a tailor,” she said. Around her, fume twisted from a not-quite-damped fire. Temperatures climbed to 101 degrees. Members of a American commission were mopping persperate from around their eyes as they trooped to a subsequent stop on their tour.

Mummy Ibrahim looked during their vacating backs, smiling. Then she corrected herself. “A businesswoman, we mean. we will be a businesswoman.”

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