Three-fold surge in children suicide bombers

children suicide bombersFrom AHMED OBAFEMI in Maiduguri, Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, (CAJ News) – CHILDREN’S rights groups are concerned at the three-fold increase in the number of children used in so-called suicide bomb attacks in the Lake Chad conflict.
The number has surged to 27 in the first quarter of 2017, compared to nine over the same period last year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) disclosed on Wednesday.
“In the first three months of this year, the number of children used in bomb attacks is nearly the same as the whole of last year. This is the worst possible use of children in conflict,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
As a consequence, girls, boys and even infants have been viewed with increasing fear at markets and checkpoints, where they are thought to carry explosives.
The increase reflects an alarming tactic by the insurgents, according to the report, “Silent Shame: Bringing out the voices of children caught in the Lake Chad crisis.”
So far, 117 children have been used to carry out bomb attacks in public places across Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon since 2014.
Four were used in 2014, 56 used in 2015, and 30 used in 2016.
Girls have been used in the vast majority of these attacks.
Poirier said these children were victims and not willfully carrying out the attacks.
“Forcing or deceiving them into committing such horrific acts is reprehensible.”
Released three years after the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, the report provides troubling accounts by children who were held in captivity at the hands of Boko Haram, and shows how these children are met with deep suspicion when they return to their communities.
CAJ News

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Posted by on Apr 12 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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