Morally repugnant" Boko Haram attacks condemned by UN

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A group of Nigerian refugees rest in the Cameroon town of Mora after fleeing armed Boko Haram attacks. Photo: UNHCR/D. Mbaoirem

Boko Haram's use of children to detonate bombs is morally repugnant, the UN's human rights office has said.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the terrorist group after the latest violence in north-eastern Nigeria.

The number of victims in the attacks that began on 3 January cannot be verified because the area is in "lockdown" she said.

But the UN spokesperson added that it was "fairly certain" that mass killings and mass forced displacement had occurred in Maidugiri, Potiskum and Baga.

She said that girls possibly as young as 10 may have been forced to carry out the attacks.

"The use of a child to detonate a bomb is not only morally repugnant but constitutes an egregious form of child exploitation under international law…."There are wildly differing accounts of the numbers, you're going from 150 to 2000, we haven't been able to verify that. I mean one eyewitness was talking about how when he was fleeing he was tripping on bodies the whole way, so clearly a large number of people were killed."

Shamdasani urged the Nigerian authorities to re-establish law and order and create conditions for an effective investigation.

The UN's office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says it has received unconfirmed reports of 150,000 people internally displaced by the attacks.

An additional 11,320 people have also fled to neighbouring Chad since the attacks according to the UN refugee agency.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Duration:  1’27″

 

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