In a bid to wipe out insurgency, moves are being made to arrest and detain people suspected to be linked to the popular Boko Haram sect.
The Cameroon authorities have launched the move to reduce the activities of terrorists in their jurisdiction to the barest minimum by detaining boys suspected to have affiliation with the terrorist group.
While trying to achieve this, the rights of youngsters have to be protected. Already, the presence of the group has violated the rights of many individuals. There are issues of various forms of abuse in the northern region which suffers the most from the terror group.
The influx of conflict-affected refugees who fled the terror infested zones to Cameroon is a major point of concern to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund. The activities of these refugees are putting a strain on Cameroon.
The arrest of the youngsters who are said to be linked to the terrorist group is highly disturbing. The number of detained boys and girls cannot be ascertained at the moment. And to think that some of the girls have been married off is even more disturbing.
In Nigeria, young boys are often arrested and detained because they have features that make them look like Boko Haram suspects. Sometimes, the physical traits of these youngsters are being used in analysing them. Many innocent young boys have been whisked away because their appearances resemble that of some members of the wanted Boko Haram sect.
While the need to fight insurgency can never be overemphasized, the UN also lays emphasis on the need to protect the youngsters. This will help shade them from any form of abuse.
As a result of the insurgency, Cameroon now hosts more than 274,000 refugees from Central African Republic. Of the stipulated figure, 74,000 refugees are from Nigeria. The most vulnerable part of Cameroon is the far north region. This area is also the most disturbed area by Boko Haram crisis.
There are over a hundred thousand internally displaced persons there. This figure is made up of mostly women and children who had to leave their homes to avoid being killed by the terrorists.
The displaced persons stay in the isolated areas of Cameroon where there is no access to the basic amenities of life. Millions of people do not have food to eat and are dying day by day. There is lack of humanitarian assistance to millions of people in that region as the situation is worse and unbearable for thousands of children found there.
It is sad to know that the prospects of the new year look bleak to people in those areas. With the high number of people in need as a result of the sect, one cannot help wondering the number of people that have lost their lives.
The Defence Headquarters has quashed the media reports that stated that over 2,000 persons were killed in one of the attacks of the terrorist group in Baga community of Borno state.
It is depressing to know that the accurate number of people killed by this sect may never be known. However, it is hoped that the displaced persons would be taken care of and provided with the basic things of life.
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