There is an alarming increase in the number of children used for suicide bombing by Boko Haram in the last one year when compared to the previous year and this is a source of concern for the United Nations.

One thing the world body, however, wants is stability in Nigeria’s northeast communities reclaimed from Boko Haram.

UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, said it was critical to shore up areas of Lake Chad Basin that have been freed from the grip of Boko Haram terrorists.

Mohammed, in a video address to the Security Council, also called for efforts to rebuild the lives of women and girls that had suffered at the hands of the terrorist group.

She said recent joint efforts by four of the region’s affected countries - Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger – had resulted in “considerable progress” in the fight against the extremists.

Mohammed, speaking via videoconference from Liberia where she participated in celebrations to mark the end of the UN peacekeeping mission noted the liberation of hostages as well as territorial gains.

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However, she reported that Boko Haram had stepped up the use of women and girls as suicide bombings, while children were deployed in 135 such attacks in 2017 – a five-fold increase over the previous year.

“It is now key to stabilise the areas that have been reclaimed, and that we seize the opportunity to really promote sustainable development,” she said.

Mohamed was joined by Mohammed Bila, a representative of the Lake Chad Basin Commission based in N’Djamena, and Senior Conflict Adviser at Adelphi, Chitra Nagarajan.


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