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900 children freed by anti-Boko Haram militia: UN

ANI | Updated: May 11, 2019 01:51 IST

Maiduguri [Nigeria], May 11 (ANI): Almost 900 children have been freed by a pro-government local militia fighting against Boko Haram militants in Nigeria, UNICEF said on Friday.
The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) is a local militia created in 2013. It had recruited 894 children, including 106 girls in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri to fight against Boko Haram, CNN reported.
According to UNICEF, more than 3,500 children were recruited between 2013 and 2017 for the ongoing conflict in northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram has fought for more than a decade, burning villages and attacking military bases.
A total of 1,727 children have been released since the CJTF signed an action plan in 2017 to end child recruitment. The UN agency said it is working with the Nigerian government and local authorities to help re-integrate those released.
"We cannot give up the fight as long as children are still affected by the fighting. We will continue until there is no child left in the ranks of all armed groups in Nigeria," said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Nigeria representative.
Boko Haram operates in the western and central African region. It is known to oppose western civilisation model of education and seeks the introduction of sharia law in Nigeria.
The Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009 when the terrorists staged an armed rebellion against the Nigerian government.
Suicide attacks carried out by the outfit have claimed more than 20,000 lives and displaced at least two million people in the last few years. (ANI)