KONFRONTASI - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says 800,000 kids have been forced to flee their homes due to the acts of terror committed by Nigeria-based Takfiri Boko Haram militants.
In a report released on Monday, UNICEF said the number of child refugees, either displaced across Nigeria or in neighboring Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, has more than doubled over the past year.
The terrorist activities of Boko Haram have forced over 1.5 million people out of their dwellings, the report said.
"Scores of girls and boys have gone missing in Nigeria - abducted, recruited by armed groups, attacked, used as weapons, or forced to flee violence," said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF's regional director for West and Central Africa.
The agency's report was released a year after the Boko Haram's abduction of 276 students from their secondary school in the northeastern town of Chibok. Reports say 57 of the girls managed to escape but 219 are still missing.
Earlier this month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein accused Boko Haram of using children as “human bombs," abducting both children and adults on a massive scale and subjecting women and girls to slavery, forced labor, and sexual violence.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.
The Takfiri militants have claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shooting attacks and bombings in various parts of the country since the beginning of their militancy in 2009.[ptv]