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ICC Note: According to various sources, some Nigerian women are willingly volunteering to marry Boko Haram fighters, even if that means leaving behind their own families. Boko Haram has been known to abduct hundreds of women and girls for the purpose of raping them and ‘marrying’ them off to the fighters, the most well-known of these cases being the abduction of the Chibok girls in 2014. Boko Haram has begun recruiting women to be wives for the fighters the way that they recruit them men to fight; part of this process typically includes conversion to Islam. Despite this new phenomenon of women willingly becoming wives of Boko Haram fighters, the terrorist group is still continuing to abduct, rape, murder, and destroy, targeting Christians in particular with their violence.

08/19/2016, Nigeria (Foreign Affairs) – Aisha, a witty and strangely charming 25-year-old from Banki, a town bordering Cameroon, recalled how members of Boko Haram came to her town in 2012 and began preaching their rigid brand of Salafi jihadism. The insurgents then turned to some of the women, asked what they ate, and when they replied, “just rice,” offered them a tantalizing deal. “They would give us a regular allowance of 5,000 naira and better food if we married them,” said Aisha who was so intrigued by the prospect that she asked her then-husband for a divorce, which he granted. The sum of money, most likely doled out monthly, is an incredible sum given 80 percent of rural Nigerians live on less than 400 naira a day. Aisha explained matter-of-factly, “I was tired of my husband and I wanted a rich man…of course I knew there are many rich men in Boko Haram.”

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