Image 1 of 1
Since the start of Boko Haram's insurgency thousands of boys and girls have gone missing across north eastern Nigeria. The Islamist group use the kidnap of children as a strategy in their asymmetric war. Girls, as young as eight, are taken to be married off to fighters or deployed as sex slaves and, increasingly, used to commit suicide attacks. <br />
<br />
Miriam (17): 'When we were attacked, they focused particularly on very young boys and girls. My parents were not home, so I fled with my five sisters and three brothers. I am the oldest, the youngest is seven. I was suddenly responsible for eight children. The younger children were crying all the time. I reminded them constantly that they should be quiet, otherwise we would be discovered. We had nothing to eat or drink. We kept walking, afraid of being discovered. I carried one of the children the whole time and I was dead tired, but we had to go on until I was sure that we would be safe. After a few days we met a family member who brought us here. I later found out that my mother had been captured but fortunately she has been able to escape. We were only reunited when we were here. It was a nightmare.'