This article breaks my heart. Children forced to kill or be killed by Boko Haram. I thought my prayers came true when reading all the girls were released last week. Keep the girls and Nigeria in your prayers.
DAKAR, Senegal — As it torments West Africa, Boko Haram is increasingly turning to children to carry out its crimes.
One of every five suicide bombers deployed by Boko Haram in the past two years has been a child, usually a girl, according to a report released Tuesday by Unicef.
Boko Haram used 44 children in suicide attacks last year, compared with only four in 2014, the report found.
The youngest bomber so far was thought to be 8 years old.
The report seeks to quantify one of the most chilling elements of Boko Haram, an Islamist extremist group that has assaulted the Lake Chad region of Africa for years with thievery, beheadings, kidnappings and the torching of entire villages. The group has killed thousands of people and caused a food crisis, leaving the area hungry and in tatters.
Toby Lanzer, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for that region, said Boko Haram’s use of children as suicide bombers “really beggars belief.”
“To me that’s the epitome of evil,” Mr. Lanzer told reporters during a briefing at the United Nations headquarters in New York about his recent trip to northeastern Nigeria. “I cannot think of anything more horrifying.”
It was two years ago this week that the group kidnapped nearly 300 girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria. Several dozen escaped early on, but most are still missing. Intelligence officials believe they are being used as human shields for Boko Haram leaders hiding in the Sambisa Forest in northeastern Nigeria.
Follow link to read entire article. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/world/africa/boko-haram-children-suicide-bombers-unicef-report.html?_r=0