UNICEF, the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, on Saturday condemned the deaths of three children in Borno state.
The children were reportedly killed by unexploded remnants of war on Friday.
“The avoidable deaths of the children – as young as 12 years – who were playing on Mblu Bridge in Ngala, is yet another sad reminder that children remain direct and indirect targets of the protracted conflict wracking north-east Nigeria,” UNICEF said in a statement.
“While three children have sadly lost their lives, three others are in critical conditions while two other children sustained mild injuries.”
UNICEF said it was deeply worried that the protracted conflict in the north-east continue to affect children in the worst ways.
“First of all, we extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the families of the children killed,” UNICEF’s Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, said.
“No family should have to go through this – and no child should fall victim to unexploded remnants of war while playing.”
“These deaths are unacceptable. All sides to the ongoing conflict must protect children and prioritise their wellbeing at all times. Playing fields, schoolyards and communities must be safe and habitable for children.
“Children’s lives should not be at stake in a conflict they didn’t start. We must address the shrinking safe spaces for children and ensure that children – especially those already affected by conflict – are protected and have a chance to survive and fulfill their potential.”