Geoffrey Ijumba, Head of UNICEF in Borno disclosed that The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), together with the Borno state government, has rehabilitated 833 children involved in armed conflicts in the Northeast.
Ijumba stated this on Tuesday in Maiduguri at the opening ceremony of a training workshop organized for the children explaining that the workshop was designed to review the current prevention of child recruitment, release and reintegration strategy under the sustainable peace approach in the Northeast.
“Today, we are happy that we are refining our strategy on prevention of child recruitment. We owe these children a child-friendly, inclusive and effective process.
“They have already gone through alot, we cannot let them down by windy, bureaucratic processes.
“As it is the case with every conflict, children and women bear the brunt of the crises. Of the 1.8 million persons displaced by the conflict in the three states of Borno,Yobe, and Adamawa, 79 percent of them are women and children,” he said.
Ijumba lamented that many children were been abductedand forcibly conscripted by the insurgents while others were used as human bombs, killed and maimed.
“Some had been used as human bombs and others have been, and continue to be, victims of sexual and gender-based violence. These children have been exposed to tremendous phychosocial distress,”he said.
Also commenting, Alhaji Yahaya Dankoli, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, said that the children would be trained on various trades under a comprehrnsive skills acquisition scheme.
Dankoli explained that resettlement packages would be provided to graduates at the end of the eight months training programme, to enable them set up their businesses