Nigeria, Cameroun Lead In Child Suicide Bombing | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria, Cameroun Lead In Child Suicide Bombing

Posted: Apr 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Nicholas Uwerunonye
The number of children involved in suicide attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger has risen sharply over the past year, from four in 2014 to 44 in 2015, according to UNICEF data released on Tuesday.
More than 75 per cent of the children involved in the attacks are girls. “Let us be clear: these children are victims, not perpetrators,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. Deceiving children and forcing them to carry out deadly acts has been one of the most horrific aspects of the violence in Nigeria and in neighbouring countries.”
Released two years after the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, the report, ‘Beyond Chibok’ shows alarming trends in four countries affected by Boko Haram over the past two years. Between January 2014 and February 2016, Cameroon recorded the highest number of suicide attacks involving 21 children, followed by Nigeria, 17, and Chad (2).
Over the past two years, nearly 1 in 5 suicide bombers was a child and three quarters of these children were girls. Last year, children were used in one out of two attacks in Cameroon, one out of eight in Chad, and one out of 7 in Nigeria.
Last year, for the first time, ‘suicide’ bombing attacks in general spread beyond Nigeria’s borders. The frequency of all suicide bombings increased from 32 in 2014 to 151 last year. In 2015, 89 of these attacks were carried out in Nigeria, 39 in Cameroon, 16 in Chad and seven in Niger.
The calculated use of children who may have been coerced into carrying bombs, has created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion that has devastating consequences for girls who have survived captivity and sexual violence by Boko Haram in North East Nigeria.