Fati was kidnapped by Boko Haram.
“One day, two men in the village followed my cousin and me all the way to our home. The men came into the house and told my parents that they wanted to marry my cousin and me. These men were Boko Haram. They carried guns.”
“Boko Haram wanted us girls to do suicide attacks, and many girls wanted to,” says Fati.
“Because they wanted to go to the army and have them remove the belts. That way they would escape.”
Fati never volunteered but one day when they were on the run with her captors, Cameroonian soldiers managed to catch them and place Fati in a refugee camp. With UNICEF's support, Fati is finally getting the chance to recover from the profound stress of conflict and rebuild a peaceful life.
Conflict has plagued Somalia for more than two decades
More than two decades of conflict, insecurity and drought have left 4.9 million people – almost half of the population – in need of humanitarian and livelihood assistance. Most are in conflict-ridden central and southern Somalia, where violence impedes humanitarian access. In the north, drought has left communities on the brink.
Military operations launched in 2015 triggered new displacements in parts of central and southern Somalia and the internally displaced are further affected by forced evictions. As many as 5,000 children and youth could currently be with armed groups.
In conflict-ridden Somalia, the impact of UNICEF’s work is profound. In 2015, UNICEF provided almost 9,000 children and women who had survived physical and sexual violence the essential services they needed to cope and recover - including hundreds of former child soldiers. Over 600 children who were torn apart from their families and communities by conflict were identified, traced and reunited.