Nigeria's rape survivors: Sarah’s story, part 1
Violent clashes between Muslim Hausa-Fulani and the predominantly Christian Taroh ethnic groups in Wase, Nigeria, left over five thousand people dead and a hundred thousand others displaced in July 2002. As women and children of the worst-hit Kadarko district fled their homes, many were abducted and sexually abused by militias. Some were killed after being raped. Few survived to tell the story.
By Kingsley Madueke, Jos
Fast-forward to 2012. On a day in early April, I was in Kadarko at exactly 6 o’ clock in the morning to catch up with the women before they left for their farms. Some admitted they were sexually abused during the crisis, but declined to share their experience. Of the few who agreed to talk, Sarah Lamdi was the most vocal. Occasional inputs came from a second woman who wished to stay unnamed. I asked where they would like to be interviewed. They opted for a spot by the church fence. It was about 20 metres away from the other villagers, who were seated by a cluster of huts under a tree.
3 July 2002
Sarah Lamdi can never forget 3 July 2002. She was on the farm along with other girls when the pandemonium started. Suddenly, people were screaming and running helter-skelter. "We didn’t know what was happening,” the 26 year old says. "Women and children were crying and running in different directions. We asked what was happening, but everyone seemed too agitated to answer us.”
"Thick smoke and sounds of gunshots filled the air. We ran into the bushes. When the gunshots grew faint, we stopped. Another girl joined us. She said our village was attacked by the Fulani and she only narrowly escaped being killed. (...)