Statement by UNICEF Nigeria Representative a.i. Pernille Ironside on the release of children from administrative custody

 

Statement by UNICEF Nigeria Representative a.i. Pernille Ironside on the release of children from administrative custody

On 4 November 2016 in Maiduguri, Nigeria, newly-reunited families receive care packages from UNICEF and partners in a transit center for women and children that had been held by the Nigerian military for questioning.

In November 2016, north east Nigeria remains in the grips of a humanitarian emergency.  An ongoing conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military has resulted in 7 million individuals in desperate need of assistance across Borno, Gombe, Yobe and Adamawa states. Approximately 55% are children.  In collaboration with the government and humanitarian partners, UNCEF is providing life saving services across both north-east Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, Niger and Chad).  In Nigeria alone, primary health care services have reached over 3 million people with hundreds of thousands of children receiving psychosocial support, therapeutic feeding, access to safe water and education.

© UNICEF/UN039669/Bindra

On 4 November 2016 in Maiduguri, Nigeria, newly-reunited families receive care packages from UNICEF and partners in a transit center for women and children that had been held by the Nigerian military for questioning.

ABUJA/HONG KONG, 5 October 2017 – “UNICEF welcomes the release of 752 women, children and elderly men from Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday.

“They had been held for screening after previously having been under the control of Boko Haram militants. The release is a demonstration of the Nigerian authorities’ commitment to better protecting children and helping families to rebuild their lives.

“These are first and foremost victims of this horrific conflict.

“UNICEF is working closely with the Borno State Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development and other partners to support the children in their recovery and return to their communities.

“Medical personnel are assessing the condition of the women and children. Counselling services are on hand and social workers are helping to trace parents or guardians, so that they can reunite children who have been separated from their families. Children will also have an opportunity to start learning and playing again.

“This is the first important step on a long road to recovery and normalcy for these children and women who will require ongoing support to reintegrate their families and communities.”