Al Shabaab militia group last week imposed a new ban on the locals of Jilib town, a move which has greatly angered the locals. On the weekend of 1st September, the militia banned girls from going to school and threatened parents against allowing their girls to go to school.
A local resident who we managed to speak to said the decision by the Al Shabaab was cowardly and retrogressive. ‘I cannot believe that they have decided to prohibit girls from going to school and this decision has really angered me and other locals,’ said Abdullahi who has three children, two of them girls aged 8 and 12 years.
The move by the militia group has been seen as a strategy to recruit young girls as ‘jihadi wives.’ Those recruited normally end up as sex slaves for the fighters with the lucky ones used as trophy wives for Al Shabaab command. Without education, it is assumed that girls will be easy to manipulate hence making them the perfect targets for the militants who present themselves as the only viable suitors. Al Shabaab militants are however finding it hard to entice young educated girls hence the reason for the ban.
Locals have vowed to work with security agencies in order to get rid of the militants from their town, a move which is highly welcomed by security forces with Jilib town considered a high priority target.