These 833 Children Were Once Boko Haram Members
Indoctrination of children and the use of children as suicide bombers to harm people is one thing that the Boko Haram did in the northeast of Nigeria.
Children were made to become terrorists against their will. Some of them were rescued by the military will some were captured in counter-terrorism operations.
At least 833 children that were involved in this armed conflict in the northeast are not getting rehabilitated by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with Borno State government.
Their rehabilitation is holding in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
At the opening ceremony of a training workshop organised for the children on Tuesday, the Head of UNICEF in Borno, Geoffrey Ijumba, explained that it was designed to review the current prevention of child recruitment, release and reintegration strategy under the sustainable peace approach in the Northeast.
“Today, we are happy that we are refining our strategy on prevention of child recruitment. We owe these children a child friendly, inclusive and effective process.
“They have already gone through a lot.
"We cannot let them down by windy, bureaucratic processes.
“As it is the case with every conflict, children and women bear the brunt of the crises.
"Of the 1.8 million persons displaced by the conflict in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, 79% of them are women and children,” he said.
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Ijumba lamented that many children were being abducted and forcibly conscripted by the insurgents while others were used as human bombs, killed and maimed.
“Some had been used as human bombs and others have been, and continue to be, victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
"These children have been exposed to tremendous phycho-social distress,” he added.
To help the children reintegrate into the society, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Yahaya Dankoli, said that they would be trained on various trades under a comprehensive skills acquisition scheme.
Dankoli explained that resettlement packages would be provided to graduates at the end of the eight months training programme, to enable them set up their businesses
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