Hundreds of children illegally came to birth in southern Somalia controlled by the Al-Shabaab militant group from 2008 to 2010, a new study shows.
A local independent journalists and human rights groups launched wider ground investigation and found that 1,480 children seen in areas controlled by the Al-Qaeda linked Islamist group of Al-Shabaab. Some of the children were born by mothers whose husbands fled the country for their safety.
"The man whom I gave birth the baby was a foreigner who forcefully married me. He was either Pakistani or Afghani. I don’t know his full name but I was told he was a martyr belonging to Al-Shabaab and called Abu-Salma." Sadia, 23 years old lady, said. She still lives a fearful area abundant by Al-Shabaab fighters.
"Four months ago, I have been told that Abu-Salma martyred. I saw his face only one time he showed me himself. He used to come at home in the nights only and goes before the Morning Prayer." Sadia said adding "I now fear of that Shabaab should again bring me another foreign fighter under the law of their family planning."
The report says Al-Shabaab administration ruled that all the women whose husbands are seen as enemy and fled the country for safety should be married to its fighters regardless of nationality.
"I have three children; two daughters and one son. Their father is away from the country because of the ongoing war. It happened that one day, after the Maqrib prayer around 7.00 o’clock local time, masked men of Al-Shabaab came to my house and told me that I was loved by one of their foreign fighters who came here for Jihad from thousands miles away. They said we will marry you to our brother and you should accept this. But with shocked, I answered, sorry I am married to the father of these children, but they replied to me that man has already became out of Islamic religion and we are aware of that he fled Kenya six months before so get ready tomorrow night for offer of marriage." A woman who asked not to be mentioned said.
The woman tried to escape but couldn’t afford because of heavy presence of Al-Shabaab fighters around the house.
"they came to me on the promised night and told that either of my father or my brother are not needed to be present at the wedding occasion. They said we have here the Sheikh that supposed to make the marriage. But after I and the man forcefully given to me used to talk and understand each other through body language as deaf people because his different language. And always he was masked and I never seen his face yet. He was a man from East Africa especially a Tanzanian and he could speak a broken Arabic language." The woman told Waagacusub.com
The report also estimates that Al-Shabaab militias in regions of Bay, Bakol and Lower Juba and partly Mogadishu live with 4,560 women by force as 55% of that women aged 14 – 25 years.
From 3 February 2009 to July 2010, up to 13 women were hanged to death in southern Somalia following their refusal over the illegal forced marriage with the foreign Al-Qaeda operatives fighting alongside Al-Shabaab militants as their bodies were thrown on the streets to intimidate the other girls not to disobey the order.
9 of the fathers were shot dead and the 10th was slaughtered by Al-Shabaab militias after they rejected that their daughters to be forcefully sleep with the foreign fighters.
The father of Ikraan, 18, studying in Imamu-Shafici Islamic school in Mogadishu, died of heart attack after he witnessed his daughter being dragged by Al-Shabaab men by force.
In an interview with Radio Mogadishu run by the current embattled government, the son of the dead father said his sister was later killed Al-Shabaab militiaman after she tried to escape.
The Al-Shabaab administration banned all the women in their areas from wearing bra and let the breasts remain on its nature as nearly daily, their militias stop around 150 girls walking alongside the roads and search through their breasts to ensure order. The bra is supposed to back up the leaning breasts.
"This is all about to make selection to younger women," a journalist in condition of anonymity said.
"We were four girls and stopped by Al-Shabaab militias. They started searching through our chest to make sure that we have bra on our breasts and let us free. The next day a group of Al-Shabaab men came to me willing to marry me to a foreign man. They did not go to the other three girls because they did survey on their breast and came to know that they weren’t as hard as mine." Simoon Saadaq who fled Mogadishu to Hargeysa, Somaliland for her safety said.
Al-Shabaab’s department of recording the Al-Qaeda men fighting in Somalia was quoted that the number of foreign Jihadists in southern Somalia reaches 1,861 fighters. Some of them do have two or their Somali wives like Fazul Abdallah, Al-Qaeda’s horn of Africa representative who has been living in Somalia for many years.
By Dahir Alasow
Dahir Alasow, A senior Radio and TV journalist, a leader of a press watchdog ASOJ, the editor of waagacusub.com, and outstanding commentator with fearless check on actions of the political groups and others players through investigative journalism, plus defender of the public interest and voice to the voiceless through "the truthful tip of his truth pen"
Mr Dahir Abdulle Alasow
Associated Somali Journalists