Schoolgirls that have been abducted by the Nigeria-based Boko Haram Muslim terror group are now being seen on the battlefield fighting on behalf of the terror entity, leading some to believe that they are being forced to join the murderous group.
Witnesses in Nigeria told the BBC that the young female soldiers are now being used as foot soldiers for the group, with some being used to “terrorize other captives” and “carrying out killings themselves.”
Three women who escaped Boko Haram told the BBC that a handful of schoolgirls have been “brainwashed” to run operations in support of the jihadi organization.
The fighters said, according to the escapee: “You women should learn from your husbands (who they were forced to marry) because they are giving their blood for the cause. We must go to war for Allah.”
In one such instance, 17-year-old Miriam, who escaped Boko Haram captivity, said that the Boko Haram jihadis forced Christian men to lay down then told the girls to “cut their throats.”
Anna, 60, who fled captivity in the Sambisa forest, said of her time with the militant group: “Young girls who couldn’t recite [the Koran] were being flogged” by other girls as a means of punishment.
Faith, 16, said the fighters forced her to convert to Islam. “Every day at dawn they would come and throw water over us and order us to wake up and start praying,” she said.
An Amnesty International expert commented that such testimony is not out of the ordinary.
“The abduction and brutalization of young women and girls seems to be part of the modus operandi of Boko Haram,” Netsanet Belay, who serves as an Africa specialist for Amnesty, told the BBC.
Amnesty estimates that more than 2,000 girls have been abducted by the militant organization since the beginning of 2014.