Theatre Commander, Operation LAfiya Dole, Maj. Gen Abba Dikko, while handing over the 23 children to the United Nations through UNICEF office in Maiduguri on Saturday, said the exercise was in conformity with international best practise.
“In compliance with global best practise, we handed over these children associated with armed group,” Dikko said. He said the hand over was a demonstration of the human face of the Nigerian Army.
Unicef Chief of Field Office, Borno State, Geoffrey Ijumba who received the minors on behalf of the United Nations, welcomed the release of the 23 boys and girls aged between 12 and 17 years from the military custody.
He said Unicef is working with the military and Borno State through the ministry of women affairs to provide medical attention and psychosocial support.
“For these children, the long journey towards reuniting with their families with their communities and fulfilling their dreams starts, today. We must support these children to fulfil their hopes and aspirations,” Unicef Nigeria acting representative, Pernille Ironside also said.
He said Unicef would continue to work with the military and the authorities to support the reintegration of all children released by the military “until there are no more children in administrative custody.”