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.