The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has condemned escalating violence against children in the north east of Nigeria, suggesting the world turned its eyes away from the crisis.
UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake said: “These images from Northern Nigeria should be searing the conscience of the world.”
It comes ahead of a weeklong visit of Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, to assess the situation of children affected by armed conflict in the country’s northeast and engage with authorities and partners to improve their protection.
“Some 2000 innocent children, women and elderly reportedly massacred in Baga,” said Lake.
“Young girls sent to die with a bomb strapped to their chests in Maiduguri. And lest we forget, more than two hundred girls stolen from their families, still lost.
“Words alone can neither express our outrage nor ease the agony of all those suffering from the constant violence in northern Nigeria.
“But these images of recent days and all they imply for the future of Nigeria should galvanize effective action. For this cannot go on.”
Zerrougui will meet with Nigerian authorities, the diplomatic community as well as UNICEF, the UN country team and NGO partners said the UN official itinerary.
She also will travel to the northeast of the country to exchange with authorities and meet displaced children and their families.