Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

The United Nations body has expressed ‘concern about the appalling increase in the cruel and calculated use of children, especially girls, for terrorism in northeast Nigeria. This year, according to reports, ‘witnessed a 400% increase in child bombers as compared to last year.’

“The use of children in this way is an atrocity. Children used as ‘human bombs’ are above all, victims, not perpetrators,” USA TODAY reported UNICEF saying. According to Doune Porter, country representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Boko Haram militants operating in northeast Nigeria held about 8,000 children since 2009 in areas under their influence.

“In addition to the baby who was also strapped to the back of a girl carrying a bomb, the youngest child we know who was used as a human bomb was just 10 years old,” Porter was reported to have said.

Experts noted that the use of extreme tactics is a sign of desperation by the militant group which is unable to attack military targets now.

“Few years ago, they were targeting headquarters of armed forces in the Capital Abuja but they don’t have this capacity any more. They are choosing soft targets and using children and women to terrorize the society” said Carl LeVan, a professor of African politics at American University.

Levan, who visited militant-hit Adamawa state in northeaster Nigeria last September, said his trip would not have been possible when the militant group was strong. He said Boko Haram had never been able to leverage local support for their cause as they use coercion to meet their goals.

“Boko Haram just reached a point where their objectives have become obscure and ambiguous. Other terror groups like Al-Qaeda had clear objectives but this group has lost sight of its objective and is facing extreme internal rift,” Levan said.












Correspondent: Ridwan A Olayiwola



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