… Jude Johnson
The UNICEF has commended the Nigerian military foe the release of nearly 600 Boko Haram terrorists suspects from Giwa barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.
UNICEF in a statement on Tuesday emphasised fhe fact that those freed from detention were mostly women, children and elderly men.
According to the world body, the action of the Nigerian army is a major step towards the protection of children affected by the ongoing crisis.
The agency also noted that the gesture “provides hope in a conflict that continues to have an enormous impact on people’s lives.’’
“These children were held under administrative custody on alleged association with Boko Haram militants. They are victims of the conflict and it is crucial that they receive medical care, psychosocial support and other basic services that will help them to regain their dignity.”
“Once that process of recovery has started, we can help them to return to their families and to school or learn new skills that will give them some hope for the future,” the statement read.
UNICEF assured to continue working with the relevant authorities to access children who are held for screening in order to safeguard their care and protection.
The agency also urged that when military screening is needed, children should only be held as a measure of last resort and for the shortest time possible in accordance with national and international standards.
“These children are – first and foremost – victims of the conflict and require support to recover from their experiences and reintegrate with their families and communities,” UNICEF stated .