The United Nations has negotiated the release of 876 children detained by Nigeria’s army and security forces, a senior official said.
According to UNICEF’S Regional Director for Western and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine who visited the Northeast region, the children had been held in the barracks in Maiduguri.
The detained children are from areas liberated by the military.
“We fear that there are still kids who are being at least temporarily detained because they are being released from Boko Haram areas by the army but then kept for a while,” Fontaine said.
Fontaine added that around 20,000 children had been separa ted from their parents due to the insurgency.
“Once we get children out, there is a major issue of stigmatisation in the communities.
“There is a sense that children who have been associated with Boko Haram for a while, could be, and in some cases we have some evidence, are rejected by community and people around them,” Fontaine said.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.