WORLD

UN accuses Boko Haram of abusing minors in Nigeria

UN ACCUSES BOKO HARAM OF ABUSING MINORS IN NIGERIA

The UN on Friday said Boko Haram had conscripted 140 children as fighters and suicide bombers over three years in its violent activities in Nigeria's northeast.

UNICEF Country Representative Mohammed Fall said in Maiduguri -- Boko Haram's birthplace -- that the violent group is committing crimes against humanity and war crimes.

"From our records, 140 children -- mostly girls -- have been used by Boko Haram in the northeast in three years," Fall said.

He said 80 children had been used by the group this year.

"This is worrisome and Boko Haram should stop recruiting and using children to carry out attacks," Fall said while signing an action plan between the UN and local security volunteer group, the Civilian JTF, on the use of children in armed conflict.

Boko Haram has stepped up bombings -- mostly carried out by teenage girls and children in the northeast region. Over 20,000 civilians have been killed in the area in the group's six-year insurgency.

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