“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – Paul of Tarsus
“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
– Adolf Hitler
The number of children involved in ‘suicide’ attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger has risen sharply over the past year, from four in 2014 to forty-four in 2015, according to a disturbing United Nations report released on Monday. More than 75 percent of the children involved in the attacks are kidnapped schoolgirls.
“Let us be clear: these children are victims, not perpetrators,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Deceiving children and forcing them to carry out deadly acts has been one of the most horrific aspects of the violence in Nigeria and in neighboring countries.”
UNICEF says that the report — released two years after the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, who were never found — shows alarming trends in four countries affected by Boko Haram over the past two years. The fact being ignored by many in the Obama administration and the media is that the group’s jihad has spread from Nigeria to its African neighbors such as Niger and Cameroon.
According to the Homeland Security News Wire, UNICEF report reveals that:
- Between January 2014 and February 2016, Cameroon recorded the highest number of suicide attacks involving children (21), followed by Nigeria (17), and Chad (2).
- Over the past two years, nearly 1 in 5 suicide bombers was a child and three quarters of these children were girls. Last year, children were used in 1 out of 2 attacks in Cameroon, 1 out of 8 in Chad, and 1 out of 7 in Nigeria.
- Last year, for the first time, “suicide” bombing attacks in general spread beyond Nigeria’s borders. The frequency of all suicide bombings increased from 32 in 2014 to 151 last year. In 2015, 89 of these attacks were carried out in Nigeria, 39 in Cameroon, 16 in Chad, and 7 in Niger.
The use of African children, who are encouraged or forced to wear bomb vests, is causing anxiety and suspicion among the African people that in turn creates serious consequences for the girls who managed to survive their captivity and the sexual violence perpetrated on them by Boko Haram in its Northeastern Nigeria stonghold.
According to Homeland Security News Wire, the children who escaped from –or were lucky to be released by– these radical Islamic groups are often viewed as being security threats, as shown in recent research by UNICEF. Children born as a result of sexual violence also encounter stigma and discrimination in their villages, host communities, and in refugee camps.
“As ‘suicide’ attacks involving children become commonplace, some communities are starting to see children as threats to their safety,” said UNICEF’s Fontaine. “This suspicion towards children can have destructive consequences; how can a community rebuild itself when it is casting out its own sisters, daughters and mothers?”
In addition to the Homeland Security News Wire, an Israeli report notes that:
- Nearly 1.3 million children have been displaced;
- About 1,800 schools are closed – either damaged, looted, burned down or used as shelter by displaced people;
- Over 5,000 children were reported unaccompanied/separated from their parents.