ASTA USMAN YAGA

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“We were burying people until we couldn’t bury people anymore,” Asta says of the Boko Haram attack on her town. She hasn’t seen her brother since, and the last time she saw her father, he was being taken away in a truck together with 75 other men. She later saw photos of dead bodies of some of these men, although she didn’t see her father’s body among them. 
Her husband escaped during the attack. He ran with the other men because everyone mistakenly believed that women, children and the elderly would be left unharmed. Asta was held captive with others for nine months in the bush, surviving on no more than plant husks and salt. One morning at 3 a.m., she gathered her five children and fled, 30 or 40 kilometers on foot until she reached a safe place. She has reunited with her husband, and they live in a single room in Maiduguri.

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