“They came to us to pick us,” Fati recalls. “They would ask, ‘Who wants to be a suicide bomber?’ The girls would shout, ‘me, me, me.’ They were fighting to do the suicide bombings.”Young girls fighting to strap on a bomb, not because they were brainwashed by their captors’ violent indoctrination methods but because the relentless hunger and sexual abuse — coupled with the constant shelling — became too much to bear.They wanted a way out, she says. They wanted an escape.Fati, 16, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, pauses and grabs the three gold bracelets around her wrist. They’re a gift from her mother, her only connection to home after she became one of hundreds of girls kidnapped by the world’s deadliest terror group, which forced them to marry its fighters.
“It was just because they want to run away from Boko Haram,” she said. “If they give them a suicide bomb, then maybe they would meet soldiers, tell them, ‘I have a bomb on me’ and they could remove the bomb. They can run away.”