Islamic extremist, Boko Haram has launched a new trend of using young women and babies as suicide bombers to avoid being detected by security officials in the North Eastern insurgent part of Nigeria.
The dangerous trend was reported by officials after two female suicide attackers, who were each carrying a baby, walked through a checkpoint and were mistaken as civilians, detonated their bombs in Madagali, Borno State, killing themselves, two babies and four others on 13 January 2017.
Boko Haram insurgents have more than wrecked havoc in the north east part of Nigeria. In the 7 years since the group emerged, more than 20, 000 people have been killed and countless millions deserted their homes to seek refuge at military camps. As if that’s not enough, aid agencies reported that starvation has wiped out many children under 5 years of age at the various camps in the state.
According to one of the popular aid known as Doctors Without Borders, which has been in Borno State since 2014, there were hardly any children under age 5 at its clinics, hospitals and feeding centers. Two doctors Dr. Joanne Liu, the agency’s president, and Dr. Natalie Roberts, an emergency operations manager, reported on November 2016 and they wrote:
“There are almost always small children buzzing around the camps. We saw only older brothers and sisters. No toddlers straddling their big sisters’ hips, no babies strapped to their mothers’ backs.”
Another aid worker from the UN, Toby Lanzer gave the same report at a news briefing at U.N. headquarters and he said:
“What we have seen is extraordinary. I have seen adults sapped of all energy, who are almost unable to walk.
“We have had villages and towns devoid of 2- and 3- and 4-year-old children because they’ve died. Some totally destroyed towns had been cut off from the outside world for more than three years.”
The doctors said Measles, diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria — all of which are worsened when starvation weakens immune systems — were taking a huge toll on infants and toddlers.
According to Lanzer, since the U.N. is aware that Nigeria and the Lake Chad region are enduring the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa, they are launching more than $1 billion appeal and hope that a conference meeting next month in Osloy will spur donations.
It was further informed that about 11 million people are in desperate need of aid, about 7.1 million of them are severely food-insecure — essentially, getting one meal a day if they can — and roughly 515,000 children are or soon will be severely, acutely malnourished.
Due to a struggle between the Nigerian government and aid agencies, Robert said there was a slow inflow of food into camps for three months.
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently accused UN agencies of exaggerating the hunger crisis in Nigeria in order to appeal to donors for $1 billion. While Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, reportedly accused some aid groups for using the state as a cash cow and should leave.
Dr. Robert added that “Bureaucratic obstruction” by the government kept agencies like the World Food Program out for months.
“It’s an embarrassment to a big state like Nigeria to admit it has malnutrition,” she said
“They don’t particularly enjoy outside interference.”
The situation is aggravated because some roads are so dangerous that food can only move with army escorts or by helicopter.