‘Over 3,500 children recruited by armed groups in Northeast’
More than 3,500 children, most of whom were aged 13 to 17, were recruited by non-state armed groups between 2013 and 2017 and have been used in the ongoing-armed conflict in north-east Nigeria – UNICEF. The agency made this disclosure ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Chibok abduction.
The UN children’s agency said that these numbers are only those that have been verified, while the true figures are likely to be higher.
In addition to these children, 432 children were killed and maimed, 180 were abducted, and 43 girls were sexually abused in northeast Nigeria in 2018. Meanwhile, more than 100 of the abducted Chibok girls remain missing.
The anniversary of the abduction, marked on 14 April, is a grim reminder that widespread abductions of children and grave violations of children’s rights continue to take place in the northeast.
“Children should feel safe at home, in schools and on their playgrounds at all times,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
“We are calling on the parties to the conflict to fulfil their obligations under international law to end violations against children and to stop targeting civilian infrastructure, including schools. This is the only way we can begin to make lasting improvements in the lives of children in this devastated part of Nigeria.”
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