Nigeria military hands 180 child soldiers to UN, government
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s military command says it has handed to the government and the United Nations more than 180 former child soldiers who had been arrested or rescued in various military operations in Nigeria’s northeast.
Commander Nicholas Rogers said Monday during the handover ceremony in Maiduguri that the children were former Boko Haram fighters being turned over in line with international humanitarian laws. He said many children coerced into using weapons against the state were killed in fighting between Boko Haram and government forces.
The U.N. Children’s Agency says the children’s release comes after they were cleared of ties to Boko Haram. It said eight girls and 175 boys will receive medical attention and psychosocial support before reuniting them with their families. The children range in age from seven to 18 years.