Army retracts decision on UNICEF | Ripples Nigeria
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Army retracts decision on UNICEF

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17m Nigerian children age 15 to 17 out of school, UNICEF says

The Nigerian Army late Friday night backtracked from its decision to suspend UNICEF activities in the North East of Nigeria ravaged by the activities of the Boko Haram sect.

The Army had on Friday, made an announcement suspending the activities of UNICEF in the North East of the country over claims that the UN agency was engaging in acts that encourage terrorism in the embattled region.

The announcement was made in a statement signed by the Army deputy Director Public Relations, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu.

Apparently backtracking from its earlier decision, the Army said in its second statement also signed by Nwachukwu, that it changed its decision on UNICEF after the intervention of “concerned Nigerians.”

“Sequel to intervention by well meaning and concerned Nigerians over the recent suspension of UNICEF, the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE convened and held an emergency meeting with representatives of UNICEF this evening.

“During the meeting, the Theatre Command admonished the representatives of the organization to desist from activities inimical to Nigeria’s national security and capable of undermining ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency.

“The Command also urged UNICEF representatives to ensure they share information with relevant authorities whenever induction or training of new staff is being conducted in the theatre.

READ ALSO: Army suspends UNICEF operations in North-East, accuses agency of sabotaging Boko Haram fight

“Consequently, after extensive deliberations on the need to seek modalities to work harmoniously with the security agencies in the theatre of operation, the Theatre Command has henceforth lifted the three months suspension earlier imposed on UNICEF activities in North Eastern Nigeria,” Nwachukwu said.

Amnesty International and many Nigerians had condemned the initial decision of the Nigerian Army on UNICEF.

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