More and more children are being used by the Islamist group Boko Haram. This is the alarming fact that UNICEF is making on the situation in the Lake Chad region.
The number of suicide bombers has tripled in three months. In three months, 27 children were transformed into suicide bombers by jihadists in the four countries of the Lake Chad region: Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
The United Nations Children’s Fund says that at the same time last year it had only nine children and 30 children for the whole of 2016.
The majority of children are girls. Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of them since the insurgency began eight years ago.
Most of the time, these girls are sexually abused and used as slaves, wives, or to commit suicide bombings.
— UNICEF Nigeria (@UNICEF_Nigeria) April 12, 2017
Those children who manage to escape are often imprisoned by the authorities of their countries of origin or outright rejected by their own families.
The UNICEF report warns that the rejection of these children could ultimately make them vulnerable to the promises of jihadists.
UNICEF deplores the inadequacy of the resources available to help these children.
As we gain access to these areas that were under the control of Boko Haram, we realize the magnitude of the crisis and the impact on children.
Axadle International Monitoring – Africa