UN gets release of at least 876 children detained by Nigeria military

2016-10-28 20:00
File: AP

File: AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - The United Nations has negotiated the release of 876 children detained at a Nigerian army barracks holding suspected collaborators of the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, the UN Children's Fund said on Friday.

The agency fears more children are at least temporarily detained at the barracks in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, according to Manuel Fontaine, Unicef's director for West and Central Africa.

This is the first reported negotiated release of children detained by the military, though Nigeria's army routinely reports how many minors are among the hundreds of detainees it frees after interrogations that it says establish they have no links to Boko Haram.

The 876 children had been living in areas held by Boko Haram and were detained when those areas were liberated, Fontaine said in a teleconference call with journalists from his base in Dakar, Senegal. He spoke after a visit to Maiduguri, the city that is the birthplace of Boko Haram and the home of the Nigerian army's Giwa Barracks.

The Associated Press has documented the deaths of thousands of detainees at the barracks in recent years. Amnesty International has said 8 000 detainees died there between 2011 and 2015. This year, Amnesty called for the detention centre's closure, saying babies and children are among the many detainees dying from disease, hunger, dehydration and untreated gunshot wounds.

The London-based human rights group also says President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to fulfill election promises in 2015 to halt abuse of civilians by Nigerian security forces

Ministry of Defense spokesperson Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar has called Amnesty's charges "a distraction", insisting that "our duty is to protect lives, and that is what we have been doing".

Boko Haram's insurgency has killed more than 20 000 people and forced 2.6 million from their homes in less than a decade.

Read more on:    un  |  unicef  |  boko haram  |  muhammadu buhari  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.