from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA – THE Nigerian Boko Haram terror group has killed and maimed 432 children and forcibly recruited more than 3 500 others in recent years.
The figures, which are for the years between 2013 and 2017, indicate some 180 children were abducted and 43 girls raped during the period.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) disclosed the figures to coincide with the five years since the Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in the northeastern state of Borno.
More than 100 of the abducted girls remain missing.
Others escaped while a majority was released following negotiations between the terror groups and humanitarian organisations. Negotiations led to the release of terror members.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, marked on April 14, was a grim reminder that widespread abductions of children and grave violations of children’s rights continued in northeastern Nigeria.
Mohamed Malick Fall, United Nations Children’s Fund representative in Nigeria, called on the parties to the conflict in Nigeria to fulfill 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,” the envoy said.
The Boko Haram initiated a violent campaign to overthrow the government ten years ago.
An estimated 100 000 civilians have been killed while more than 2 million others have been displaced.
– CAJ News