The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday condemned the use of children as suicide bombers by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast.
The agency’s statement which came hours after two underage girls and a boy blew themselves up at a community football viewing center in the Konduga area of Borno State – the heart of the 10-year-old insurgency.
According to the statement which was signed by Oluwatosin Akingbulu, Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships, UNICEF and made available to DAILY INDEPENDENT, Peter Hawkins, the agency’s Representative in Nigeria condemned the incident which left at least 30 dead and 40 others injured.
“UNICEF condemns the use of children as human bombs and in any combat or non-combat roles in the conflict in northeast Nigeria,” the statement read.
“It is unacceptable that children should be used in this way. UNICEF appeals to all those involved in this terrible conflict to protect children at all times and to keep them out of harm’s way.”
UNICEF said the incident brought to five the number of children used as human bombs this year. In 2018, 48 children died as suicide bombers, while more than 83 children suffered a similar fate in 2017.
“We again call on all parties to the conflict in northeast Nigeria to immediately cease all attacks against civilians, to stop using children in this conflict, and to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law,” it added.