Boko Haram violence forces one million children out of school – UN

DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Violence in northeast Nigeria and neighbouring countries targeted by Boko Haram has forced more than one million children out of school, leaving them prey to abuse, abduction and recruitment by armed groups, the United Nations said today.

More than 2,000 schools in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger remain closed due to the conflict and hundreds have been looted, damaged or destroyed, said the UN children’s agency UNICEF.

While hundreds of schools in northeast Nigeria have reopened in recent months, insecurity and fear of violence are preventing many teachers from resuming classes and discouraging parents from sending their children back to school, according to UNICEF.

Boko Haram is mostly based in northeast Nigeria but the militant group has this year intensified its campaign, setting up camps and launching attacks in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger in its drive to carve out an Islamist caliphate.

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