Tens of thousands of women have been freed from Nigeria's brutal Boko Haram fighters, but providing a safe future for them is critical to winning the war, analysts warned Tuesday."Their hardship is a humanitarian concern - but also could fuel the conflict," the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a new report.Boko Haram's decade-long uprising to establish a hardline ISIS in Nigeria's northeast has spilt into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.A regional military coalition is battling the Islamist group.But success cannot depend on the armed forces alone, the ICG warned.
They called on the government to "look beyond the military campaign", in a report released on Tuesday, entitled "Returning from the Land of Jihad: The Fate of Women Associated with Boko Haram."Those who have escaped the group are often now living among the same communities badly hit by violence, ICG said.Many women fleeing the jihadists are shunned by society and find it hard to marry -- leaving them vulnerable to assault, the report read.
"The successful reintegration of former Boko Haram women can send a powerful signal to their fighter husbands, some of whom are eyeing the possibility of their own surrender," the ICG said."Conversely, their mistreatment could not only dissuade men from demobilising but also prompt women to return to the insurgents' ranks."