The Nigerian Army has handed over 23 minors rescued from Boko Haram to United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) for rehabilitation.
Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole,Maj.-Gen. Abbah Dikko, who disclosed this at the command headquarters in Maiduguri, said the exercise was in conformity with international best practise.
According to Dikko, “In compliance with global best practise, we handed over these children associated with armed group to UNICEF,” Dikko said.
He explained that the gesture was in line with the commitment of the army to promote civil military relationship toward achieving lasting peace in the Northeast.
In his remark, Mr Geoffrey Ijumba, UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Borno State, who received the minors, welcomed the release of the 23 boys and girls aged between 12 and 17 years from the military custody.
He said UNICEF was working with the military and Borno government through the Ministry of Women Affairs to provide medical attention, psychological and social supports to victims displaced by the Boko Haram conflicts.
He said, “For these children, the long journey towards reuniting with their families, with their communities and fulfilling their dreams starts immediately.
Also, Pernille Ironside, UNICEF’s Nigeria Acting Representative, stressed that the UN would continue to work with the military and other authorities to support the reintegration of all children released by the military.
Ironside stressed the need to support these children to fulfill their hopes and aspirations, saying the organisation will not relent until there are no more children in administrative custody.