- A report by a UN agency UNICEF says not fewer than 27 children have been used as bombers by Boko Haram to attack Nigeria in first quarter of 2017
- The report says the increase is worrisome because this was triple the 9 children used as bombers within the same period in 2016
- The reports says "The increase reflects an alarming tactic by the insurgents."
- For more reports on Boko Haram, please visit: https://www.naij.com/tag/boko-haram.html
The United Nations children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed deep worries over the rise in the use of children as bombers by the insurgent group Boko Haram.
According to UNICEF, 27 child bombers have carried out various attacks across Nigeria in the first quarter of 2017 alone, a sharp increase from 9 around the same period in 2016.
A further breakdown says 117 child bombers have been used in Boko Haram attacks on Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon since 2014 but the UNICEF has described the most recent increase as very alarming.
The agency said in a report that four children were used to carry out bomb attacks in 2014, 56 in 2015, 30 in 2016 and 27 in just the first three months of 2017.
"The increase reflects an alarming tactic by the insurgents," it said.
Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF's regional director for West and Central Africa, said: "This is the worst possible use of children in conflict."
In another statement, the UNICEF also expressed concern over children being held by the Nigerian military for alleged association with Boko Haram militants.
Patrick Rose, a UNICEF regional coordinator, said the fate of the children have remained unknown.
She said: "They are held in military barracks, separated from their parents, without medical follow-up, without psychological support, without education, under conditions and for durations that are unknown."
NAIJ.com recalls that just on Monday, April 10, the Nigerian Army released nearly 600 children, women and elderly from Giwa barracks.
The Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, handed over the detainees to officials of the Borno Government at a ceremony in Maiduguri.
Irabor, represented by Brig.-Gen. Abdulrahman Kuluya, said the release was based on the directives of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.