Child suicide bombing in 2017, already above figures in 2016 — UNICEF

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[Borno]–The United Nations Children and Education Fund, UNICEF, has expressed concerns about the increasing rate of child suicide bombers used by the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram.

According to UNICEF’s Chief of Maiduguri field office, Geoffrey Ijumba, at least 27 teenage girls have been used as suicide bombers in Borno within the first quarter of 2017, a figure which has surpassed the entire number of child suicide bombings that occurred in the whole of 2016.

Mr. Ijumba, said that although Nigeria military force has been fighting for the restore of normalcy in the North East, the insurgents have continued to carry out deadly attacks using under aged kids as suicide bombers.

Speaking at the UNICEF office in Maiduguri, he said that the third-year anniversary of the kidnap of scores of secondary school girls from Chibok, Borno State, should not be seen as any form of celebration. Rather, it should be used as a moment of reflection on the worsening humanitarian crises in the Lake Chad region.

He said the occasion should also be used to acknowledge the resistance of the people of the north-east Nigeria, who despite the dangers posed by Boko Haram could still get their schools opened; and children, especially the girl child, enrolled in schools.

In helping to reverse the trend, be said that UNICEF has teamed up with the Nigerian government to ensure that the rights of the children are protected. “We are trying to make sure that every child counts,” he said.

“Thousands of homes have been uprooted; more livelihood has been destroyed; education facilities were destroyed; teachers, doctors, midwives, farmers halve been killed. Water sources, farmland have been destroyed.”

“There is no other testimony to defeat of Boko Haram than seeing a girl child in camps going to school. But there are still so many children out there who are not yet attending schools and they need to be helped to get education as a basic right”, he added.

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