Abuja — The UNICEF has welcomed the release of 752 women, children and elderly men from Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State on Wednesday.
UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Ms. Pernille Ironside, in a statement yesterday, said the children are victims of Boko Haram terrorism instead of being held as suspects.
Ironside said 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 with their families and communities."
He said: "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 527 children 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."
She said 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," she stated.