The Coalition of Civil Society for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution has faulted the United Nations’ (UN) persistent ‘soft’stance and lackadaisical attitude on the Islamic State of West African Province’s (ISWAP) use of children as an instrument for war.
According to the group, the intergovernmental organisation tasked with maintaining international peace and security, especially as it concerns children hasn’t done enough to protect these young ones in North East Nigeria from ISWAP terrorist seriously.
The Coalition’s submission trails United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) latest report about the incident in Konduga, Borno State, where the group appealed to “all those involved in this terrible conflict to protect children at all times and to keep them out of harm’s way.”
In a statement signed by Dr Peter Hosea, Head of Administration, the group, consequently called on Secretary-General of the United Nations to put in proactive measure to halt further disaster instead of reeling out the obvious.
“The Coalition of Civil Society for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution wishes to states in unequivocal terms that the use of children as suicide bombers by members of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) is a crime against huma nity and breach of the fundamental human rights of these young and innocent children.
“This is cognisant of the fact that as minors by law, children do not have autonomy or the right to make decisions on their own for themselves in any known jurisdiction of the world. Instead, their adult caregivers, including parents, social workers, teachers, youth workers, and others, are vested with that authority, depending on the circumstances.
“This much the members of ISWAP have exploited by brainwashing and indoctrinating children to carry out suicide bombings, especially in North East Nigeria.
“The Coalition of Civil Society for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution also frowns at the lackadaisical attitude of the United Nations under the auspices of the United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF) that works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.
“UNICEF has indeed not risen to the occasion in North East Nigeria as regards the use of children as suicide bombers by ISWAP. Instead, they have formed the habit of issuing incoherent press statements to state the obvious while stalling on its core mandate of defending the rights of children.
“The Coalition of Civil Society for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution is disappointed with the feeble response by the United Nations Children Fund.
“The Coalition of Civil Society for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution consequently wishes to call on the Secretary-General of the United Nations and by extension the United Nations Security Council to put in measures that would see to the fact that children are protected from ISWAP terrorist.
“The United Nations Security Council, must, as a matter of urgency, form a coalition for the protection of children in North East Nigeria and also to ensure that the rights of children are protected at all times.
“The Coalition of Civil Society for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution believes that if urgent measures are not put in place in North East Nigeria, ISWAP terrorist will continue to influence children and use them for suicide bombings.
“The Coalition of Civil Society for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution with this concludes that the United Nations has not taken the protection of children in North East Nigeria from ISWAP terrorist seriously.
“The United Nations Security Council must as a matter of urgency act swiftly in an attempt to nip in the bud the nefarious deeds of using children as instruments of war.
“The Coalition of Civil Society for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution wishes to state that the rights of children must be protected at all times and the United Nations Children Fund must rise to the challenge in the fulfilment of its core mandate.”