‘Bad Blood’ Fears Fuel Abuse of Children Born of Boko Haram Rape

ICC Note: The children of displaced women who were raped by or married off to Boko Haram fighters now face threats from their own communities who are worried they will grow up to be Boko Haram fighters themselves. Aisha Umar is a Nigerian woman who was abducted and held by Boko Haram for a year, during which time she was raped by militants numerous times and gave birth to a son from one of the Boko Haram fighters. Upon her return to her home town in Gwoza, she and her 2-year-old son were shunned; one man even told her that he would kill her child unless they left the town. Aisha is not the only woman facing this struggle. There are many internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially women and their children, that have nowhere to go now with their families and communities rejecting them because of their time spent in captivity with Boko Haram. Boko Haram continues to wage a brutal insurgency in northeast Nigeria, one that has displaced some 1.3 million people, most of whom are Christians.

07/05/2016 , Gwoza, Nigeria (AllAfrica) - Having been kidnapped by Boko Haram, held for almost a year, and raped by several militants, 28-year-old Aisha Umar could have been forgiven for believing her ordeal was over when she escaped and returned to her hometown in northeast Nigeria last year.

But the mother-of-four was forced to flee her home in the town of Gwoza a fortnight ago when a man threatened to murder her two-year-old boy Mohammed, the son of a Boko Haram fighter.

"He told me that if I didn't take the child away, he would buy petrol and set the boy on fire until he burned to ashes," Umar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Madagali, 22 km (14 miles) away, where she now lives with her brother.

The man, who saw Boko Haram kill three of his children, was one of many people in Gwoza who made it clear to Umar that her son was not welcome in the community since their return home.

"People didn't want to play with the child ... they called him Boko Haram child," Umar said, adding that she received the most abuse from those who had lost relatives to Boko Haram.

[Full Story]