A female Al-Shabaab returnee while being debriefed narrated of horrendous experience that she had to undergo while inside an Al-Shabaab terrorist camp in Somalia.
The female returnee (name withheld for security reasons) narrated how they were forced to use drugs and subjected to sex slavery inside terrorist camp.
Halima*(not her real name) a standard eight dropout narrated how she and other female captives were repeatedly raped in turns by at least six men at a time for the five years she was in the terror group’s captivity.
Halima* who was introduced into Al-Shabaab by her maternal cousin only identified as ‘Dogo’ from Lamu was hopeful of a good-life and good pay as promised. Halima* with nine siblings and two sons needed to provide for them and her cousin convinced her to join Al Shabaab, with a promise of making good money as an informant.
She readily accepted the offer and joined him in Lamu after leaving her two sons with her mother. Halima* and her cousin sneaked to an Al-Shabaab camp in Boni Forest before travelling by sea into Somalia.
On arrival inside Al-Shabaab camp in Somalia, she was surprised that her duties were far from what Dogo had informed her they would be.
Halima* describes a life of daily sexual abuse and mental torture at the terrorist camp. “I was basically a prisoner. Often we were forced to use drugs, especially bugizi (a combination of heroin, marijuana and Rohypnol), commonly used by Al-Shabaab terrorists and miraa too.
Only the lucky captives were taken in as wives of the commanders and that would stop other terrorists from raping you. But those who were made wives were only native Somalis.
Halima* managed to escape from the terrorist camp after five years with the help of an old man after her captors left to fight AMISOM troops. She however, left three of her friends and fellow captives at the camp were too scared to leave as they were constantly threatened with death.
Currently living with HIV, Halima* and many other female returnees are now undergoing a comprehensive Government-sponsored counselling sessions for the psychological trauma they endured during their time inside the terrorist camps in Somalia.