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ICC Note-

A lady in Kenya describes her time as a slave for al-Shabaab in Lamu County. Fatuma was in need of money to provide for herself and her two children. In order to do this, she turned to spying for al-Shabaab, as her cousin told her it would make her good money. She travelled to an al-Shabaab camp in Lamu Kenya to start the work. When she arrived, she realized the grave mistake and what it would mean for her for the next 5 years. Read her story below.


2017-12-11 Kenya (StandardDigital)

A female Al Shabaab returnee has narrated how they were forced to use narcotic drugs and subjected to sex slavery in a Boni Forest camp.

Fatuma* (not her real name), says she and other captives were repeatedly raped by at least six men at a time for the five years she was in the terror group’s captivity.

She says they were constantly threatened with death, especially after the fighters encountered the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces or Somalia National Army troops.

“The women in the camp had to cook, wash clothes for the militants and undertake other household duties. The fighters frequently physically and sexually abused us. Some militants would beat us if they did not like something we cooked, which was often for me as I was not familiar with cooking Somali injera (bread) that was preferred by the militants,” she says.

Fatuma*, who escaped from the militants a year ago, narrated to security officers how they were forced to use contraceptives or procure abortions when they got pregnant.

“The sexual and physical violence was worse when the militants came from engaging with the AMISOM forces.

“They would drink and take drugs all day and night, whether celebrating the killing of Somalia National Army or AMISOM soldiers or mourning their own, and that’s when the gang rapes would happen,” she recalls tearfully.


She says she lost count of the number of times she was raped and forced to use contraceptives but adds that female captives married to commanders were allowed to have children. There were about 15 such children in the Boni Forest camp, she recalls.

Born in Majengo, Nairobi, the mother of two says it all started seven years ago after she separated from her husband of two years.


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