Boko Haram use of kids as 'human bombs' soars in 2017


The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the spate of using children, especially young girls, as suicide bombers in North-east Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists, describing it as cruel and an atrocity. Of those, 55 were girls, mostly under 15 years old and 27 were boys.

UNICEF in the statement made available by Chief of Communication, Doune Porter, said it is providing psychosocial support for children who have been held by Boko Haram and is also working with families and communities to foster the acceptance of children when they return.

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.

"Children tend to fall into the hands of Boko Haram, who would then reign over them and use them, just because they feel that they belong and they have persuaded them that maybe this is the cause of life", she explained.

Teenagers who've escaped the group have reported being paid as little as 50p to carry out attacks by militants who promise they will go directly to heaven afterwards.

Boko Haram, founded in 2002, has has waged war against the Nigerian government in an effort to create an Islamic state in the majority Muslim north of the country. It gained notoriety by abducting more than 200 girls from the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok in April 2014.

"There are instances of children being ostracized by their communities and worse".

Her team, which includes former police officers, identified some returnees as having been trained as suicide bombers.

The extremists have for several years been using children to attack crowded markets, mosques and camps for internally displaced people in northeast Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad region.

Buhari will submit a letter to the National Assembly Monday to inform them he is back in office, said Femi Adesina, special assistant to the president on media and publicity, speaking on a local news program after Buhari's address.

Boko Haram jihadists have killed six men in a village in northeast Nigeria in what appeared to be a targeted reprisal attack, a militia fighting the group said. The government did not disclose details of the negotiations.