New research released this week from Unicef and peace-building group International Alert reports that women who have been freed from Boko Haram (also known as JAS) in northeast Nigeria face rejection once restored to their communities, as are the children they carry as the result of rape, who others believe carry “bad blood” from their fathers.
“When I think of the baby that will come, it disturbs me a lot because I always ask myself this question: Will the child also behave like JAS?” one pregnant woman is reported to have said. A community leader quoted in the report called the children of Boko Haram fighters “hyenas among dogs.”
The women, now called “annoba” — epidemics, or “Boko Haram wives” — are feared by some to have militarized while enslaved by Boko Haram, as female suicide bombers have been utilized by the group with greater frequency in recent months. The New York Times reports that since 2012, as many as 2,000 women and children have been abducted.