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07/10/2019 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – The UN has reported that more than 8,000 children have been recruited and used by the terrorist organization Boko Haram in West Africa since 2009. This devastatingly large number show just how effective Boko Harams campaign to gain followers has been on the poor and destitute in Northeast Nigeria. Many of these children come off of the streets after their parents can no longer care for them. Then Boko Haram tells them that they will have money, power and food if they join.

In 2017, UNICEF reported that 135 children had been used in suicide bombings by the group. Then in 2018, 48 children were again used, with 35 of those being young girls. There have not been statistics given for this year, but it is still happening. On June 18, 3 children were used by the group to blow up a video hall, a small gathering place to watch TV. Thirty people were killed in the attack, with another 40 being injured.

Boko Haram’s use of children in their terrorist acts shows that they are willing to do anything to win this fight. The Nigerian government and military has been struggling to defeat the group because they have not taken it seriously in the past. Until a few months ago, the current president, Muhammadu Buhari was saying that they had defeated Boko Haram in Nigeria, despite continued killings. Thankfully, they have now admitted that the fight continues, but they can’t lose focus and must stop the group from using children in attacks.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].