[They're free now … so they're also at war with each other! Go figure! Jan]
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday condemned the recent “horrific killings” of dozens of civilians in two villages in western Niger.
Unidentified armed men killed at least 58 people on Monday in Darey-dey and Sinégogar, located in the Tillabery region, after they intercepted a convoy returning from a market.
Six of the victims were children aged between 11 and 17.
“We are deeply saddened and outraged that civilians, including children, are among the casualties,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
“Early in January, in the same region, armed groups carried out coordinated attacks in the villages of Tchamo-Bangou and Zaroumdareye, killing at least 100 people – including 17 children under the age of 16,” Poirier recalled.
She termed a surge in violence in the Central Sahel as having “a devastating impact” on children’s survival, education, protection and development.