U2 singer and African activist Bono says he came face-to-face with victims of Boko Haram Islamist extremists on a recent trip to Nigeria.
"I have to admit I was not prepared to see a nine-year-old child bride," the Irish singer told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
The girl was surrounded by other child brides, the singer recounted. "At that moment I knew – I have seen the face of Boko Haram."
Boko Haram poses an ongoing threat to communities in the north-east of Nigeria and has also launched offensives in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The group's goal is to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic law, known as sharia.
In 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls and young women from their school dormitory in the north-eastern village of Chibok.
Only about 50 of the abductees managed to escape immediately, while the rest are still believed to be held by Boko Haram, either as sex slaves or in forced marriages.
Bono also said action was needed to stop the humanitarian disaster in north-eastern Nigeria.
"According to the United Nations, some 50,000 children face death by starvation. The UN needs 300 million dollars in aid. We have to help, and quickly," Bono asserted.
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