On the Run From Boko Haram (MAY 13, 2015 5:02 AM EDT)

“They forced us to kill, otherwise we would have been killed,” says Djibrine, a 12-year-old from eastern Chad who was sent with other boys from his village to northern Nigeria a year ago to study at a Koranic school. Soon after the boys arrived, armed men from the Islamist militant group Boko Haram attacked the village and his school. “They took all the young people and killed all the others,” Djibrine says.

A group of young Boko Haram militants sits on the ground in Ngouboua, Chad, after surrendering to the Chadian army after been kidnapped by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria. Some of the militants were as young as 12 years old. Refugees and child soldiers who have escaped Islamist militants in Nigeria are fleeing to Chad. TOMASO CLAVARINO
A group of young Boko Haram militants sits on the ground in Ngouboua, Chad, after surrendering to the Chadian army after been kidnapped by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria. Some of the militants were as young as 12 years old. Refugees and child soldiers who have escaped Islamist militants in Nigeria are fleeing to Chad. TOMASO CLAVARINO

“They began putting horrible ideas into our heads. They told us all the others were infidels, so they either had to be converted or killed; they made promises of the paradise that we would reach,” says Djibrine. He and Djido Moussa, who is 14, are part of a group of 12 young Boko Haram fighters who managed to escape from Nigeria and reach the village of Ngouboua, Chad, where they gave themselves up to the authorities. They say they walked for days across the desert, under a burning sun, before they could get back to their homeland. “We decided to escape, to face a long journey, because we couldn’t stand what we saw anymore, everything they made us do,” says Djido Moussa. “We went to Nigeria only to study. Now we are in the hands of the army; I have no idea what they are going to do with us. I just hope I will be able to find and see my family again and start a new life.”

For now, they sit on the ground, gazing into space, lined up and under guard, waiting to find out what will happen to them next.

Full article on: http://www.newsweek.com/2015/05/22/run-boko-haram-331049.html