Garissa, Kenya – Amina* sits close to the edge of her modest home in Garissa, a county in northern Kenya bordering Somalia. Her 15-year-old daughter is standing opposite her, reading a newspaper lying on the ground.

“Go inside and start washing the house,” Amina, wearing a navy blue hijab, instructs her daughter. “Make sure you clean all the rooms and arrange the furniture as discussed before guests arrive.”

For the last two years, the mother of seven has been frequently welcoming extended family members who visit her to express their sympathy following the abduction of her husband, Abdi*, by al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked armed group based in neighbouring Somalia. On a quiet October night in 2019, four armed men who identified themselves as members of the group

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