New arrivals at Dikwa. Children are among returning residents held on suspicion of ties with Boko Haram

Twenty-four more children have been released from administrative custody of the army, bringing to 207 the number of children released this year.

They were being held in “administrative custody” until they were cleared of suspected ties with Boko Haram.

The children range from 12 to 17 years in age.

The United Nations Children’s Fund welcomed their release, saying, ““For these children, the long journey towards reuniting with their families, reintegrating with their communities and fulfilling their dreams starts today.”

“We must support these children to fulfil their hopes and aspirations,” said UNICEF Nigeria acting Representative Pernille Ironside.

Since 2017, more than 8,700 children previously associated with Boko Haram have through social and economic reintegration services to trace families, return them to their communities and offer them psychosocial support, education, vocation training and informal apprenticeships.

UNICEF says resources available to support children affected by the conflict in the north east of the country are limited.