The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has expressed discomfort in the rise of Boko Haram recruited children suicide bombers from 19 last year to 83 this year, especially in the North Eastern of Nigeria.
In a statement today, Tuesday, the world body looking after the well being of children, also regretted that some of the children who have been released, rescued or escaped from Boko Haram or similar Islamist terrorist groups are being rejected by the communities.
The statement which was issued by the UNICEF spokesman, Marixie Mercado said: “there is an extraordinary level of tension obviously in these communities and… people are afraid of children who have been victimized in this absolutely appalling way,”
“There are instances of children being ostracized by their communities and worse. Terrible things are happening to children after already horrific things have happened to them.”
The statement said that in total, 55 attacks used girls, often younger than 15 years old, 27 used boys and one even used a baby strapped to a young girl to carry out a suicide bomb attack.
UNICEF described such terrorist attacks as an “atrocity,” stressing that the children involved are “victims, not perpetrators.
“There were two girls taught by Boko Haram to be suicide bombers … The girls confirmed that they were taught that their life was not worth living, that if they die detonating the bomb and killing a lot of people, then their lives will be profitable.”
So far, 1.7 million people have been displaced by the Islamist insurgency in the northeast of the country, 85 percent of whom come from Borno state, the main focus of such attacks.
The insurrection is now in its eighth year, having claimed the lives of more than 20,000 and forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes, reports Reuters. [myad]