United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has raised alarm over the future of children living in states affected by Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast region, saying they are at risk as the terrorists continue to commit grave violations against them and governments at various levels failed to hold perpetrators accountable.
UNICEF Nigeria’s Communication Specialist, Eva Hinds, stated this on Friday in a press release made available in Abuja, the country’s capital. According to Hinds, armed bandits including Boko Haram factions, continue to target girls, who are raped, forced to become wives of fighters or used as ‘human bombs’. Eva recalled that in February 2018, the insurgents abducted 110 girls and one boy from a technical college in Dapchi, Yobe State. While most of the children have since been released, five girls died and one is still being held captive as a slave. While quoting Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programs, Hinds said much more need to be done to prevent wars and to end the many disastrous armed conflicts devastating lives of children.
Hinds said, “Yet even as wars continue, we must never accept attacks against children. We must hold warring parties to their obligation to protect children. Otherwise, it is children, their families, and their communities who will continue to suffer the devastating consequences, for now, and for years to come. UNICEF calls on all warring parties to abide by their obligations under international law to immediately end violations against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and water infrastructure.”