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UNICEF decries Escalating Violence against Children

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By Ndidi Chukwu

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said recent images of children massacred in Northern Nigeria should sear the conscience of the world.

In a press statement made available to media, by Geoffrey Njoku UNICEF’s media and communication specialist Nigeria, said a statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on escalating violence against children in Northern Nigeria shows that the agency is worried and calling for effective action. A part of the statement reads, “These images from Northern Nigeria should be searing the conscience of the world. “Some two thousand innocent children, women and elderly reportedly massacred in Baga.

Worrisome also is the increasing number of female suicide bombers, “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.”

Meanwhile the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, has arrived Nigeria and will within six days, engage major stakeholders in talks to save world children from attacks. Zerrougui is also expected 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. The Special Representative will be in Abuja to meet with Nigerian authorities, the diplomatic community as well as UNICEF, the UN country team and NGO partners.

Ms. Zerrougui is also planning to travel to the northeast of the country to exchange with authorities and meet displaced children and their families.

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