The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has arrived in Nigeria to assess the situation of children affected by armed conflict in the country’s northeast and engage with authorities to improve their protection.
UNITED NATIONS, January 11 (Sputnik) — The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, has begun a six-day visit to Nigeria amid increasing attacks and kidnappings by Boko Haram militant group, the United Nations announced on Sunday.
The organization said Zerrougui “will travel to Nigeria from 11 to 17 January to assess the situation of children affected by armed conflict in the country’s northeast and engage with authorities and partners to improve their protection”.
Earlier this week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that Boko Haram continued its violence kidnapping even more women and children than before, and destroying churches and mosques.
On Saturday, a bomb attack conducted by Boko Haram at a poultry market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri killed at least 19 people and left several injured. In another recent incident, on January 4, Boko Haram militants killed a large number of locals in the Nigerian town of Baga, which they seized and set ablaze.
During the visit, Zerroughui will travel to Abuja to meet with Nigerian authorities, the diplomatic community, as well as with UNICEF, the UN country team and NGO partners. The UN representative will also visit the northeastern regions of Nigeria to meet displaced children and their families.
The Boko Haram Islamist militant group founded in 2002, whose name roughly translates to "western education is sinful," aims to establish a caliphate in Nigeria. It is responsible for multiple terrorist attacks, kidnappings and tortures.
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