The Boko Haram terror group forced at least 135 children to carry out suicide bombings in northern Nigeria and Cameroon in 2017, almost five times the number in 2016, according to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Parties to conflicts are “blatantly disregarding” international laws that protect children, as “children are being targeted and exposed to attacks and brutal violence in their homes, schools and playgrounds,” Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF director of the Emergency Program, said in a statement, mentioning the number of children who were forced to act as suicide bombers.
“In conflicts around the world, children have become front line targets, used as human shields, killed, maimed and recruited to fight. Rape, forced marriage, abduction and enslavement have become standard tactics in conflicts from Iraq, Syria and Yemen, to Nigeria, South Sudan and Myanmar,” the U.N. agency said.
In Nigeria, the mass trials of over 6,600 suspects believed to be members of Boko Haram began in October at a military facility in Kainji town.
Close to 20,000 people have been slaughtered in Boko Haram’s insurgency in northern Nigeria, which began in 2009. The terror group has slaughtered Christians, Muslims, children, and many other civilians in their war against the government, with a driven mission to eradicate Christianity from the country.
Christian groups have long called for Boko Haram members to be brought to justice.
SOURCE: Anugrah Kumar