Nigeria frees 183 children, clears ties to Boko Haram
The Nigerian army on Monday freed 183 children from custody after they were cleared of alleged links with Boko Haram, according to UNICEF.
The children, aged between 7-18 years, comprise eight girls and 175 boys. "These (children) are first and foremost victims of the ongoing conflict and their release is an important step on their long road to recovery," a statement by the UNICEF quoted its Nigeria representative Mohamed Fall as saying.
"We will be working with the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and partners to provide the children with all the assistance they need. I also want to commend the action taken by the military and the authorities, it demonstrates a clear commitment to better protect children affected by the conflict."
The statement said the children will receive medical attention and psychosocial support before the process of reuniting them with their families and reintegrating them into society begins.
Since 2017, UNICEF has supported the social and economic reintegration of more than 8,700 children released from armed groups, helping trace their families, returning them to their communities, and offering them psychosocial support, education, vocational training and informal apprenticeships, and opportunities to improve livelihoods, the statement added.
Thousands of suspects are reportedly being held across military facilities in Nigeria for alleged ties with the militants. Some of the detainees are being tried in batches.