UN ac­cuses Boko Haram of abus­ing mi­nors in Nige­ria

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Regional -

THE U.N. on Friday said Boko Haram had con­scripted 140 chil­dren as fight­ers and sui­cide bombers over three years in its vi­o­lent ac­tiv­i­ties in Nige­ria’s north­east.

UNICEF Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mo­hammed Fall said in Maiduguri, Boko Haram’s birth­place, that the vi­o­lent group is com­mit­ting crimes against hu­man­ity and war crimes.

“From our records, 140 chil­dren -mostly girls -- have been used by Boko Haram in the north­east in three years,” Fall said. He said 80 chil­dren had been used by the group this year.

“This is wor­ri­some and Boko Haram should stop re­cruit­ing and us­ing chil­dren to carry out at­tacks,” Fall said while sign­ing an ac­tion plan be­tween the UN and lo­cal se­cu­rity vol­un­teer group, the Civil­ian JTF, on the use of chil­dren in armed con­flict.

Boko Haram’s in­sur­gency has left at least 20,000 peo­ple dead and dis­placed more than 2.6 mil­lion oth­ers since it be­gan in 2009.

Chil­dren have been par­tic­u­larly af­fected, with ab­duc­tions and forced re­cruit­ment wide­spread, as well as at­tacks on schools teach­ing the so-called “Western ed­u­ca­tion” the group de­spises. The U.N. re­port said at least 3,900 chil­dren were killed and 7,300 oth­ers in­jured as the hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion wors­ened in north­east Nige­ria be­tween Jan­uary 2013 and De­cem­ber 2016.

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