MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – The UN representative is horrified by disregard to children’s lives shown by the Islamic State and other extremist groups which are using children as suicide bombers.
“I remain deeply concerned over recent reports of ISIS targeting minorities, including children and women, in the growing area under their control in Syria and Iraq. ISIS has tasked boys as young as 13 to carry weapons, guard strategic locations or arrest civilians. Other children are used as suicide bombers,” Leila Zerrougui, a senior United Nations official stated addressing the UN Security Council on the subject of children in armed conflict.
The Islamic State militants have gained control over parts of eastern Syria and Iraq’s northern and western regions, threatening all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds, and committing mass executions of civilians and armed forces in the controlled areas.
According to the UN, up to 700 children have been killed or maimed in Iraq since the beginning of the year.
In Gaza, over 500 children were killed and more than 1,300 injured.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram has attacked schools, leading to the death of at least 100 students and 70 teachers in 2013. Over 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram in April are still missing.
Boko Haram is a diffuse Islamist sect that has attacked Nigeria's police and military, rival clerics, politicians and civilians with increasing regularity since 2009. Some experts view the group as an armed revolt against government corruption, abusive security forces, and widening regional economic disparity in the country.
“We cannot afford impunity in the face of such grave violations of international law that in some cases may amount to war crimes,” said the Special Representative.
Six months ago the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the joint campaign “Children, Not Soldiers” that works towards a goal of no children in Government forces by the end of 2016.