Nearly 900 children released by north-east Nigeria armed group

UNICEF A total of 894 children, including 106 girls, have been released in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, from the ranks of the Civilian Joint Task Force, a local militia that helps the Nigerian security forces. (10 May 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The decision by a large armed group based in north-east Nigeria to release nearly 900 youngsters has been welcomed by UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, which has warned that those freed will need long-term help if they are to lead a normal life in the future.

“Today, 894 children, including 106 girls, were released from the ranks of an armed group called (the) Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria as part of this group’s commitment to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children,” said Spokesperson Christophe Boulierac.

According to the UN agency, the children of the troubled region “have borne the brunt of years of conflict”, linked to an insurgency led by armed extremist opposition groups.

Youngsters ‘witnessed horrors’

“They have been used by armed groups in combatant and non-combatant roles and witnessed death, killing and violence,” UNICEF said in a statement, noting that the CJTF was formed in 2013 to protect communities and help the Nigerian military fight against separatists.

Friday’s mass-release in regional capital Maiduguri, follows the CJTF’s commitment in September 2017 to end and prevent recruitment and use of children, as part of a UN-led action plan.

In total, 1,727 children and young people have now been released by the CJTF, and UNICEF says that it has not recruited any more children since then. Between 2013 and 2017, the UN agency believes that more than 3,500 children have been recruited and used by non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria.

Others have been “abducted, maimed, raped and killed”, it says, amid ongoing clashes, mass displacement and alarming levels of food insecurity.

Highlighting the scale of need in a report released earlier this week, UN humanitarian coordinating office OCHA, said that the organization and its partners reached more than 1.2 million people with food security assistance across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in March.

Nearly 20,000 children under the age of five were treated for severe acute malnutrition, OCHA said in a statement, adding that humanitarians provided protection services to 87,000 people, while more than half a million people gained access to sanitation facilities.

Released youngsters need training, education to reintegrate

“The children and young people released today will benefit from reintegration programmes to help them return to civilian life and seize new opportunities for their own development,” Mr. Boulierac told journalists in Geneva. “Without this support, many of the children released from armed groups struggle to fit into civilian life as most are not educated and have no vocational skills.”

At least 9,800 people formerly associated with armed groups, as well as vulnerable children in communities, have accessed rehabilitation services between 2017 and 2018, the UNICEF spokesperson added.

Speaking in Nigeria, Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Representative and Co-chair of the UN Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on Grave Child Rights Violations (CTFMR) reaffirmed his commitment to liberating and helping youngsters caught up in the conflict.

“We cannot give up the fight for the children, as long as children are still affected by the fighting. We will continue until there is no child left in the ranks of all armed groups in Nigeria,” he said.

‘Finally put an end to recruitment and use of children’ – Gamba

The UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, welcomed the latest release from the CJTF.

“Today, hundreds of freed children will get to go home with their family and will begin a reintegration process that will enable them to fully regain their place into their communities”, she said.

“I call on the CJTF to continue to take tangible measures to better protect children and to release all children from its ranks and finally put an end the recruitment and use of children, as per its commitment with the United Nations”, she added.

Ms. Gamba also called on the international community to provide the necessary resources to UNICEF and its partners “for the reintegration of these children, so they can benefit from comprehensive reintegration services.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Amid ‘unprecedented combination’ of epidemics, UN and partners begin cholera vaccination campaign in DR Congo

Leveraging digital for high quality internships

Health conditions for citizens of Yemen’s key port city ‘remain critical’ says UN agency

As Libya talks resume in Geneva, UN negotiator seeks to overcome sticking points

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

Only one in five countries has a healthcare strategy to deal with climate change

Earth has more trees than it did 35 years ago – but there’s a huge catch

This is how a smart factory actually works

The power of partnership: joining forces to fight financial crime

Malta and Slovakia: serious shortcomings in the rule of law

Financiers can turn the world into a dirty and dangerous place

This credit card has a carbon-emission spending limit

Further reforms in France can drive growth, improve public finances and boost social cohesion

How the ‘California effect’ could shape a global approach to ethical AI

This is why retail is such a sore point in India-US trade relations

‘Brutal weather’ continues as Rohingya refugee children endure devastating rainfall in Bangladesh

UN report on Syria conflict highlights inhumane detention of women and children

Deutsche Bank: the next financial crisis is here and the lenders need €150 billion from taxpayers

Conflict, climate change among factors that increase ‘desperation that enables human trafficking to flourish’, says UN chief

This forgotten chemical element could be the key to our green energy future

Social entrepreneurs can change the world – but these 6 things are holding us back

India’s economy is growing fast, but its poorest areas lag behind. Here’s why this could be about to change

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

We need to rethink neuroscience. And you can help us

EU deserves the title of the Syrian affair merchandiser

Security Council: UN welcomes efforts to de-escalate crisis in northeast Syria

UN film festival encourages young people to promote peace, dialogue and empathy

Hardened creditors drive Greece to dire straits; Tsipras desperate for an agreement

Brexit: new European Parliament reaffirms wholehearted support for EU position

How to reimagine our food systems for a post-COVID world

FROM THE FIELD: Chad returnees’ reluctant homecoming

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF

Improving Italy’s capital market will boost growth opportunities for Italian companies and savers

Eurozone: How can 200 banks find €400 billion?

Living to 100: why we should plan for more sushi, chocolate and work

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

Parliament approves €500 million for schooling of refugee children in Turkey

Commission steps up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests

Peru is building a new international airport near Machu Picchu – and archaeologists are worried

EU-US trade war? EU calls for logic while Trump’s administration is a loose cannon in a dangerous lose-lose situation for global prosperity

Onagawa’s spirit of togetherness: lessons from the 2011 tsunami

On International Day, UN stands in solidarity with some 20 detained staff

Mental health and suicide prevention – What can be done to increase access to mental health services in my region?

Taliban-led violence during recent Afghan polls leaves record high numbers of civilians dead – UN

Here are the biggest cybercrime trends of 2019

Security Council unanimously agrees to extend UN Cyprus Mission amid political impasse

Eurozone banks are unable to support real economy’s dawning growth

What are we actually working for?

The best companies to work for in 2020, according to Glassdoor

The staggering loss of the Arctic Ocean’s oldest sea ice shown in time-lapse

These cities score an ‘A’ for environmental action – but hundreds more are falling behind

Resolving banks with depositors’ money?

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

The world needs a grand coalition to tackle climate change

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

3 charts that show how attitudes to climate science vary around the world

Berlin cannot dictate anymore the terms for the enactment of the European Banking Union

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for safer European Industries and Consumers against cyberthreats”, by MEP Niebler

To my Chinese friend

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s