U.N. condemns barbaric attacks by Boko Haram

Jul 28, 2016, 12:42 AM EDT
Boko Haram bombing in 2014
(Source: Global Panorama/flickr)

The United Nations condemned the “barbaric” violence by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has forced thousands of Nigerians to flee their homes and created a severe humanitarian crisis in the country. Stephen O'Brien, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator, said that the militant group coerced more than 50 children to carry out suicide bombings in the first half of 2016.

The condemnation comes after a recent report by the U.N. children agency U.N.I.C.E.F. revealed that about 250,000 children were suffering severe malnutrition in parts of Nigeria’s Borno state, formerly controlled by Boko Haram, writes the BBC.

Boko Haram fighters have been driven out from many parts but the group still remains a dominant force in the region and continues to target Nigeria and Cameroon with bomb and suicide attacks.

U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman warned the U.N. Security Council that a lack of funds has been hampering the fight against Boko Haram. According to an estimate by the U.N., more than nine million people across the Lake Chad Basin spanning parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, notes Ahram online.

Boko Haram, which was set up in 2002, initially opposed Western-style education and later expanded into an armed organization in 2009. The militant group has joined Islamic State and calls itself IS’s “West African Province.”