UNICEF: 3,900 Nigerian Children Died from Boko Haram Crises

  • Seven killed in suicide blast

By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja and Michael Olugbodein Maiduguri

The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF has said that no fewer than 3900 children have been killed in north-east Nigeria as a result of combined actions of Boko Haram’s insurgency in the region and security forces.

This is as seven persons were reported killed in a suicide attack on Konduga, a Borno town, the police said on Friday. Two of the dead were suicide bombers while the rest were victims.

The police in a statement by the Assistant Public Relations Officer in charge of Borno Police Command, Murtala Ibrahim stated that two of the dead were suicide bombers and the other five were innocent citizens.

This is the conclusion of the first “Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Nigeria” (S/2017/304), released on Thursday, which documents the impact on children of the severe deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the country between January 2013 and December 2016

“With tactics including widespread recruitment and use, abductions, sexual violence, attacks on schools and the increasing use of children in so- called “suicide” attacks, Boko Haram has inflicted unspeakable horror upon the children of Nigeria’s north-east and neighbouring countries,“ declared Virginia Gamba, Special Representa- tive of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

Gamba however, commended the Government of Nigeria for the measures already adopted and their collaboration with the UN to improve  the protection of children. She called upon the authorities to ensure that all boys and girls were provided with the necessary support and services to facilitate their reintegration into their communities.

She said: “During the reporting period, attacks by Boko Haram on communities and confrontations between the group and security forces resulted in at least 3,900 children killed and 7,300 more maimed. Suicide attacks became the second leading cause of child casualties, accounting for over one thousand deaths and 2,100 injuries during the reporting period. The Secretary-General’s report strongly condemns grave violations against children committed by Boko Haram and urges the group to cease all such violations immediately.
“The UN verified the recruitment and use of 1,650 children. However,

estimates indicate that thousands more could have been recruited and used by Boko Haram since 2009, with credible accounts of children as young as four years old associated with the group.”

She said that testimonies from children separated from Boko  Haram indicate that many were abducted, but that others joined the group due to financial incentives, peer pressure, familial ties and for ideological reasons. In some instances, parents gave up their children to obtain security guarantees or for economic gain.