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UNICEF condemns use of teenage girls as suicide bombers in Borno

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UNICEF has condemned the use of children as suicide bombers in Mandarari community in Borno.

NAN reports that the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in its report said 30 persons were killed and 42 others injured in multiple bomb blasts that rocked a Borno village on Sunday night.

according to several reports, three children two girls and a boy (ages unknown) were used to detonate explosives that killed 30 people and injured 40 others at a community football viewing centre in Konduga in Borno state.

Mr Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, in a statement released in Maiduguri on Tuesday, said: ”UNICEF appeals to all those involved in this terrible conflict to protect children at all times and to keep them out of harm’s way.

“This incident brings the number of children who have been reported as having been used as human bombs to five, since January 2019.

”In 2018, 48 children including 38 girls were used in suicide attacks.

“We again call on all parties to the conflict in north-east Nigeria to immediately cease all attacks against civilians, to stop using children in this conflict, and to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law,” he said

“While UNICEF sends its condolences to all those who have been killed or injured in this horrific incident, It is unacceptable that children should be used in this way.

NAN reports that UNICEF in a report said children were used in suicide attacks in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

The UNICEF said that since 2012, non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children.

Some of the girls, the UN agency said had become pregnant in captivity and give birth without any medical care or attention In the ongoing armed conflict in north-east Nigeria, more than 3,500 children were recruited and used by non-state armed groups between 2013 and 2017.

The use of children in suicide attacks by armed groups as person-borne explosive devices significantly increased from 2014 to 2017.

In 2018, it said a total of 48 children (38 girls) were used in suicide attacks whilst 146 (45 boys, 101 girls) children were used in the same way in 2017.

In the first quarter of 2019, it added two girls were reported to have been used as ”human bombs”.


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