By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said 432 children were maimed and killed in the Northeast region through the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in 2018.
UNICEF’s Communication Specialist, Eva Hinds, disclosed this in a statement on Friday to ahead of the fifth anniversary of the abduction of over 100 Chibok schoolgirls in Borno state by the insurgents.
She said added to the 432 children killed, 180 were abducted, and 43 girls were sexually abused in the region last year.
Hinds also disclosed that more than 3,500 children have been recruited and used by the insurgents as combatants since 2013.
According to her, these numbers are only those that have been verified while the true figures are likely to be higher.
Against that backdrop, she quoted Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, as urging for the protection of children’s rights.
“Children should feel safe at home, in schools and on their playgrounds at all times.
“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,” Fall said.