UNICEF expresses delight over the release of 24 children by Nigerian Army
Kingsley Mba, August 20, 2018
Rescued Children from terrorist group
Another batch of children, numbering 24 has been freed by the Nigerian army after a thorough investigation to establish whether there is any link between the children and terrorist groups.
According to a statement from UNICEF, the 24 released children fall within the age of 12 to 17. They had been kept in Nigerian Army administrative custody for suspected ties with armed groups. This recent freed children brings the number of children released this year to 207.
UNICEF Nigeria acting Representative, Pernile Ironside while expressing delight over the news of the release, stated that for these children, the long journey towards reuniting with their families, reintegrating with their communities and fulfilling their dreams starts today. We must support these children to fulfil their hopes and aspirations, he added.
“UNICEF will continue to work with military and the authorities to support the reintegration of all children released, until there are no more children in administrative custody.”
As part of these efforts, UNICEF works with the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and partners to provide the children with medical attention and psychosocial support, before the process begins of reuniting them with their families and reintegrating them into society.
Since 2017, UNICEF has supported the social and economic reintegration of more than 8,700 children previously associated with non-state actors in north-east Nigeria, helping trace their families, returning them to their communities, and offering them psychosocial support, education, vocational training and informal apprenticeships, and opportunities to improve their livelihoods.
However, the resources available to support children affected by the conflict in north-east Nigeria are limited, with just under half of the required resources available, limiting UNICEF’s ability to deliver an integrated package of protection, WASH, nutrition and health services for the survival and development of vulnerable children in conflict affected areas.