ABUJA (Reuters) – Islamist fighters from Nigeria’s Boko Haram group have kidnapped greater than 1,000 kids within the northeast since 2013, the United Nations kids’s company UNICEF mentioned on Friday.
The militants repeatedly took children to unfold worry and present energy, the company mentioned on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from the city of Chibok, a case that triggered world outrage.
“Kids in northeastern Nigeria proceed to come back beneath assault at a surprising scale,” mentioned Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF’s Nigeria head.
The company mentioned it had documented greater than 1,000 verified instances, the primary time it had printed an estimated tally. However the precise quantity could possibly be a lot bigger, it added.
It mentioned it had interviewed one younger lady, Khadija, now 17, who was kidnapped after a Boko Haram assault on her city, then locked in a room, compelled to marry one of many fighters and repeatedly raped.
She grew to become pregnant and “now lives along with her younger son in an IDP (displaced individuals) camp, the place she has struggled to combine with the opposite ladies resulting from language boundaries and the stigma of being a ‘Boko Haram spouse’,” UNICEF mentioned.
No less than 2,295 academics have been killed and greater than 1,400 colleges have been destroyed within the battle, it added.
The Boko Haram battle is in its tenth yr, however reveals little signal of ending. In February, one faction kidnapped greater than 100 schoolgirls from the city of Dapchi, beforehand untouched by the warfare.
A month later, the militants returned virtually all of these women. About 5 died whereas in Boko Haram arms. One different, Leah Sharibu, stays captive as a result of she refused to transform to Islam, her freed classmates have mentioned.
The federal government mentioned the discharge was a prelude to ceasefire talks, although some insurgency consultants disagree, saying it violated that faction’s ideology to kidnap Muslims.
Boko Haram stays a charged concern politically. President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 rode to energy on guarantees to finish the insurgency. However his administration has didn’t defeat Boko Haram, regardless of pushing the militants out of many cities within the northeast by 2016.
On Monday, Buhari mentioned he plans to hunt re-election in 2019.
4 years for the reason that Chibok abduction, about 100 of the schoolgirls are unaccounted for. Some could also be useless, in accordance with testimony from the rescued women and Boko Haram consultants.
Boko Haram in January launched a video purporting to point out among the lacking Chibok women, saying they want to stay with their captors.
Reporting by Paul Carsten; Modifying by Andrew Heavens