Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Boko Haram uses children as human bombs

02 April 2015, 07:20Magdalena Mis

London - Boko Haram Islamist militants in northern Nigeria are using children as human bombs and targeting women and girls for particularly horrific abuse, including sexual slavery, the UN human rights chief said on Wednesday.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that his office had received reports of Boko Haram using children as its first line of attack, as "expendable cannon fodder".

"Bodies of children around 12 years old have been found strewn across such battlefields," Zeid said. Boko Haram has been attacking towns and villages in northern Nigeria and border regions of neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

"The group has also repeatedly used young children as human bombs, including a case of a 14-year-old girl carrying a baby on her back who detonated a bomb in a marketplace," Zeid said.

Also Read:Buhari vows action on Boko Haram, graft after election win

The council condemned "the heinous terrorist activities of Boko Haram", including the abduction of more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, a year ago, and called for "drying up all possible sources of financing" for the group.

It called for those who have committed crimes on behalf of Boko Haram to be brought before competent courts of the affected states and held accountable.

Boko Haram has killed thousands and displaced about1.5 million people during a six-year campaign to carve out an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

A joint offensive by Nigeria and its neighbours has succeeded in driving the group from most of the positions they controlled earlier this year, reversing militants' gains that forced Nigeria to delay its February presidential election.

Zeid said that appalling atrocities committed by the group had created a critical human rights situation not only in Nigeria, but in the whole Lake Chad region.

Girls enslaved

Both children and adults have been abducted by the group on a massive scale, he said.

Women and girls have been enslaved and subjected to sexual violence, forced labour and compulsory conversion, he said, citing reports from witnesses and survivors.

Retreating Boko Haram militants have murdered their so-called "wives" - women and girls they held as slaves - and other captives as military offensives by Nigeria and its neighbours advanced, Zeid said.

He said he had received information suggesting that the security forces of Nigeria and other nations combating the insurgency had also committed human rights violations, and called for a thorough and transparent investigation.

"Such violations intensify the suffering of the people - and [...] this can only create resentment, facilitate recruitment of new insurgents, and foster vicious cycle of greater extremism," he said.

Also Read: Buhari says to "spare no effort" in fighting Boko Haram

The insurgency has sharply reduced farming activity and many people are facing severe food shortages, Zeid told the Council.

"Because the farms of northern Nigeria provide produce across the Sahel, this also means that the price of several basic foods has risen sharply across the region," he said.

The current dry season has intensified Boko Haram incursions into Cameroon, Chad and Niger, spreading bloodshed and desolation even more widely, the rights chief said.

"What was initially a localised crisis is fast growing to very disturbing regional dimensions," he added.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...