The Civilian Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram in Borno State has released 833 children from the grasp of the terrorist group.
The United Nations Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, who disclosed this on Friday, said some of the children are as young as 11 years.
Following the development, Pernille Ironside, UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Nigeria and the Co-chair of United Nations Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on grave child rights violations, said:
“This is the first formal release of children from the CJTF since September 2017 when the group signed an action plan committing to put measures in place to end and prevent child recruitment following a listing in the annexes of the UN Secretary-General’s Annual Report for Children and Armed Conflict for the recruitment and use of children.
“The release of these children from CJTF shows commitment to implement the provisions of the Action Plan and to uphold international humanitarian law, human rights laws as well as other regional and national legislations, protecting children’s rights.”
The civilian JTF is a local militia formed in 2013 by a number of vigilante groups in the state, to combat the Islamic terrorist organization in various communities in the state.