The United Nation’s Children Fund, UNICEF on Saturday, August 14, condemns the deaths of three children in Borno, north-east Nigeria, who were reportedly killed by unexploded remnants of war.
A statement by UNICEF Nigeria country representatives Peter Hawkins and released by Communication Specialist, Folashade Adebayo says the avoidable deaths of the children as young as 12 years who were playing on Mblu Bridge in Ngala, is yet another sad reminder that children remain direct and indirect targets of the protracted conflict wracking north-east Nigeria.
UNICEF notes that While three children have sadly lost their lives, three others are in critical conditions as two others nursing injuries sustained.
UNICEF says that In 12 years of protracted conflict in the north-east, thousands of children in the region have been killed, maimed, abducted, displaced, and experienced multiple violations of their human rights, adding it is deeply worried that conflict-affected children continue to be casualties of war.
UNICEF used the statement to extend its deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the families of the children killed, stressing that No family should have to go through this and no child should fall victim to unexploded remnants of war while playing,.
UNICEF says Children are at particular risk from unexploded ordnance, which are small enough to pick up or kick around, and which children can mistake for toys or objects of value and Such weapons account for over half of those killed or injured by landmines and other explosive remnants of war globally.
It says These deaths are unacceptable, calling on All sides in the ongoing conflict to protect children and prioritise their wellbeing at all times.
It further calls for Playing fields, schoolyards and communities as a must to be safe and habitable for children,’
According to UNICEF Children’s lives should not be at stake in a conflict they didn’t start, highlighting the need to address the shrinking safe spaces for children and ensure that children especially those already affected by conflict are protected and have a chance to survive and fulfill their potential.