Displacement & MigrationGender & SGBVNews

Terrorism: Female IDPs In Borno Recount Tales Of Rape, Child Loss And Abuse

Adama Abubakar had tears rolling down her eyes as she recalled the trauma she had endured since Boko Haram abducted her about four years ago.

While pregnant, she was separated from her family, raped, had her kidnapper-husband killed for being disloyal and eventually returned to her village with the child of an insurgent.

Like other women in her position, who have had to suffer tonnes of abuse and stigma since their return, Abubakar told HumAngle that she wished it was all a dream.

Most of these women stay in Stadium Camp for Internally Displaced Persons, Maiduguri, which has over 2,674 households.

Over 26,464 individuals are taking refuge at the facility and most of them are women and children.

While the displaced persons struggle with other issues, sexual abuse has remained paramount in the camp, HumAngle investigations revealed.

Narrating her ordeal, Abubakar said, “I was captured by Boko Haram in my hometown, Baga.

“I was married peacefully, staying with my husband when Boko Haram came to Baga and carried me away to Sambisa.

“I stayed for almost four years and I was four months pregnant for my husband at the time I was captured.

“The insurgents got me married to one Abu Abdullahi in Sambisa, who was also killed by his friends. They killed him,” Abubakar said.

She added that they stayed with the kidnapped Chibok girls in the same room and 35 of them were killed during an attack in Sambisa Forest.

Abubakar told HumAngle that she attempted to escape several times but was found in the bush by the insurgents.

She said, “I regretted staying with them and my greatest pain is that I have delivered a baby boy for Abu Abdullahi, whom his friends described as a disobedient servant.

“I have suffered neglect and stigma among my people because of this and it was not my wish.”

Abubakar added that she had been back with her husband since she returned home.

For 18-year-old Maimuna Mohammed, her family house in Baga was burnt to the ground beginning an ordeal that included rape and physical abuse.

“We came to Maiduguri with nothing as our cows, chickens and cattle were carried by the terrorists. We have suffered,” she lamented.

“We have lost our dignity and respect. We ran through the bush to escape during the attack on Baga which began at 6p.m.

“We trekked barefoot from Baga to Monguno. Upon our arrival at Monguno, we were turned back by the military.

“As we journeyed back to Baga, we met the insurgents who carried us along with other people trying to get back to the community.

“They raped us. Me and two other girls in the bush between Baga and Monguno,” she told HumAngle and broke down in tears.

Mohammed said she was not tested or treated nor was there any provision for her health.

She and the other girls stayed in the bush with the insurgents until the military attacked the bush.

“I was captured by the military men and brought to Maiduguri,” she said.

Another victim, Fatsuma Abubakar, lost her pregnancy while fleeing from insurgents. She was running through the bush after they attacked Baga, when she started to bleed.

She suffered excruciating pains as she lost her pregnancy of three months.

“I am married. I have lost two children – boys – while running in the bush. We parted in the bush.

“I was holding their hands and then, I got confused because we were running and crying at the same time, looking for help.

“I left the children under a tree and went to find water for them to drink. Then I heard a gunshot,” Fastuma began to cry as she spoke.

When she could speak again, she said, “I did not go back because I knew they had been killed. I trekked to Monguno for three days and nights.

“I met other people, also from Baga in a nearby village, and we trekked together.

“At last, we were captured by the military and that was how I escaped from Baga. I am still in fear.

“I miss my children,” Fatsuma added as she sobbed.

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