Escape from al-Shabab: ‘I was turned into a sex slave’

Radhia Mambo is 27 years old. She looks just like anyone else here as she walks alongside the harbor in her black flowered buibui, the black gown worn by Muslim women. Her face is hidden behind the black veil or hijab, and so is her story. Radhia is not her real name; that has been changed to protect her. Radhia is, in fact, back in Kenya unofficially, even though she was born and grew up there.

As she walks the short distance to a friend’s house, she only makes small-talk, and even that very furtively. All around is noise, women fry fish and cry out for customers, but Radhia walks on determinedly. She enters a compound and moves quietly through a black iron gate.

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