From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
A total of 2,013 children in three North East states affected by over a decade violence have been cleared of alleged link with armed group since 2016, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said.
Its Chief of Borno Field Office, Phuong Nguyen, who disclosed this in Maiduguri, yesterday, during a meeting with chairmen of local governments in Borno State, said another 2,188 of the children have also been released from conscription by Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), under an intervention funded and supported by the European Union (EU).
She decried the impact of violence on children in the North East and urged stakeholders, including religious, traditional and political leaders to support the reintegration of the freed children back into the society.
“Community and religious leaders must publicly condemn and continue to advocate ending and preventing violations and abuse against children, in particular, those involving the recruitment of children into armed groups, rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, abductions, attacks and threats of attacks against schools and hospitals,”she said.