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ICC Note

25 year old woman recounts her harrowing tale as a slave wife to an al-Shabaab commander in Somalia. She was a young professional working for a non-governmental organization, when she was offered a position with better pay in Mogadishu. She accepted this so called job and headed out on a bus to start this new opportunity. Only, she never made it. On the way, She was drugged and taken to an al-Shabaab camp. While there, a commander took interest in her and forced her into becoming his seventh wife. Two years later, she was finally able to escape.


2017-12-29 Somalia (Standard) Memories of battling Al Shabaab militants from raping her are still etched in the mind of a woman who was lucky to escape from the terror group’s Jillib camp in Somalia.

Two missing lower teeth are some of the scars she bears after the two-year ordeal as an Al Shabaab commander’s wife.

According to interrogation notes seen by Saturday Standard, the 25-year–old woman did not set out to be an Al Shabaab recruit, but blind trust of a would-be employer saw her end up in the camp.

“I was kidnapped two years ago under the pretext that I was going to work for a non-governmental organisation. I was instead taken to an Al Shabaab camp as a prisoner,” she told her interrogators. One day, as she went about the chores, an Al Shabaab fighter grabbed her and attempted to rape her. But she managed to fight the attacker.

“One hot Friday afternoon just after the Ijumaa prayers as I was cleaning the dishes, one of the militants tried to force me into having sex with him. I was a virgin and I wouldn’t allow him to touch me, I stabbed him with a knife I was cleaning,’’ she said. The militant died of the stab wound while the woman lost teeth in the fight to free herself.

After that ordeal, she started to look for ways to escape from the camp.



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