The United Children’s Fund has condemned the death of three children in Borno state, occasioned by unexploded remnants of war.
As contained in a statement issued by UNICEF on Sunday, the avoidable death shows that children has remained the targets of the conflict wrecking the North-Eastern part of Nigeria.
In 12 years of protracted conflict in the North-East, thousands of children have been killed, maimed, abducted, displaced, and experienced multiple violations of their human rights.
“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 wrecking north-east Nigeria.
“While three children have sadly lost their lives, three others are in critical conditions while two other children sustained mild injuries.
“UNICEF is deeply worried that conflict-affected children continue to be casualties of war.
“First of all, we extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the families of the children killed. No family should have to go through this and no child should fall victim to unexploded remnants of war while playing,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative.
According to UNICEF, children are at risk from unexploded ordnance, which are small enough to be picked up or kicked around.
It states that such weapons account for over half of those killed or injured by landmines and other explosive remnants of war globally.
Hawkins said, “These deaths are unacceptable. All sides to the ongoing conflict must protect children and prioritise their wellbeing at all times. Playing fields, schoolyards and communities must be safe and habitable for children.
“Children’s lives should not be at stake in a conflict they didn’t start. We must 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.”