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Rescued Boko Haram Bride, Aisha Returns to Husband In Sambisa Forest

Aisha was among 70 women and children who in February finished a nine-month de-radicalisation programme, having being captured by the army in a raid on the militants’ Sambisa forest base last year.

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A 25-year-old bride of a Boko Haram commander,​ ​Aisha, who recently returned home after three years in the militants’ stronghold in northeast Nigeria, has fled her home in Maiduguri, Borno ​State.

Aisha was among 70 women and children who in February finished a nine-month de-radicalisation programme, having being captured by the army in a raid on the militants’ Sambisa forest base last year.

She also took with her the son fathered by the ​top Boko Haram member identified as Mamman Nur.

Bintu Yerima, Aisha’s sister revealed that her sister packed her clothes and vanished after a phone call.

”Before she left, she had received a phone call from a woman who was with her (in the programme).

”The woman said that she had returned to the Sambisa forest,” 22-year-old Yerima told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Phone calls to Aisha after she disappeared went unanswered, and her mobile has since been switched off, her sister added.

Thomson Reuters Foundation recalled that Aisha, earlier this year​, told its officials that women kidnapped by Boko Haram were given to her as ”slaves” because she was married to a leading militant.

Fatima Akilu, a psychologist and head of the Neem Foundation, an anti-extremism group which ran the state-backed programme, said she had heard that some of the women who were under her care, including Aisha, had gone back to Boko Haram.

”Rehabilitation, reintegration is a long process, complicated by the fact we have an active, ongoing insurgency,” she said.



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