Children the Target of Armed Groups In Niger - Amnesty
Amnesty International has documented in the A 57-page report titled "I Have Nothing Left Except Myself': The Worsening Impact on Children of Conflict in the Tillabéri Region of Niger - the devastating impact on children caught in the conflict in Niger, involving armed groups Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) and the al-Qaida-affiliated Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).
Both groups have committed war crimes and other abuses, including the murder of civilians and the targeting of schools the report says. Armed groups have killed more than 60 children in Niger's tri-border area in 2021. ISGS, which operates primarily on the border with Mali, appears responsible for most of the killings.
The recruitment of children by JNIM has increased significantly in 2021 in Torodi, near the Burkina Faso border. Witnesses have said JNIM has targeted younger men, as well as boys aged between 15 and 17 years, with some possibly younger. JNIM members offer incentives such as food, money and clothes to attract recruits.
As part of violent opposition to education they consider "western", ISGS and JNIM have burned down schools and threatened teachers. As of June 2021, at least 377 schools in the Tillabéri region were closed, depriving more than 31,000 children of education according to the report.
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Refugee women and their children in a health center in Bosso, Niger (file photo).