Boko Haram, ISWAP recruiting child soldiers – Army
THE Nigerian Army says it was studying the video of the Islamic State West Africa Province children fighters executing its personnel.
The video released by the ISWAP, according to the Associated Press, was published on Tuesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activities.
In the video, a man in the Nigerian Army uniform, who claimed that he was with the army special forces, was shot twice in the head by a boy of about 12.
Shortly after, another soldier, who said he was captured in April 2021, was shot in the head by one of the three masked fighters behind him.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, stated that the action of the terrorists had been a long time practice in terrorism across the world.
He said the terrorists were trying to embark on recruitment drive with the video as many of their fighters had surrendered to troops.
Nwachukwu stated, “We are studying the video. However, the action of the terrorists has been a long time practice in terrorism across the globe.
“They have always taken advantage of the vulnerable in society, particularly women and children, to advance their evil cause.
“Recall that the terrorist groups, ISWAP/Boko Haram, have in the past used women and children as suicide bombers. They have also conscripted children and minors, who they engage as child soldiers, and women, who they use as sex slaves.
“Having been depleted by our troops, the imbroglio in their ranks and the massive surrendering of Boko Haram, the terrorists in a desperate move are embarking on a recruitment drive to shore up their strength with child soldiers, who they can easily indoctrinate, manipulate and cheaply manage financially.
“We have raised this alarm before now and have since commenced sensitisation in the North-East to guard against and block their recruitment drive.”
Nwachukwu urged residents of the North-East not to be deceived by the gimmicks of ISWAP terrorists into releasing their children and wards for their evil cause.
He assured them that troops would remain resolute in decisively countering the terrorists.
AP had quoted the Executive Director, SITE Intelligence Group, Rita Katz, as saying that ISIS “is now more desperate than ever to keep its name in the global discussion…given the fact that it no longer has a physical ‘caliphate’ outside of relatively small bases in different countries.”
The video, she said, “demonstrates the immense focus ISIS is placing on Africa” and puts a “spotlight on Nigeria as one of its strongholds and projecting itself as an adaptive, enduring force to the world.”
The UN children’s agency estimates that globally, more than 93,000 children were recruited and used in conflicts between 2005 and 2020.