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NIGERIAN TROOPS HAND OVER 23 RESCUED CHILDREN TO UNICEF

LAGOS, Nigeria- At least 23 children, rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists, in restive north-east Nigeria’s Borno state, have been handed over to the United Nations children’s fund (UNICEF), for rehabilitation, the Nigerian army said, on Saturday.

The exercise was in conformity with international best practice, Abbah Dikko, theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, said, at a brief ceremony, in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri.

The gesture was in line with the commitment of the army, to promote civil military relationship, towards achieving lasting peace in the north-east, he added.

In his remarks, Geoffrey Ijumba, UNICEF chief of field office in 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.

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 fulfil their hopes and aspirations, saying, the organisation will not relent until there are no more children in custody.

The West African nation has lost more than 20,000 lives in the northern region, since 2009, to the Boko Haram insurgency.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK