UNICEF criticises abduction of schoolgirls in Zamfara State

UNICEF criticises abduction of schoolgirls in Zamfara State

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed concern over the attack on Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Talata-Mafara Local Government of Zamfara State, where a number of girls were kidnapped.

This is contained in a statement issued by the UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Mr Peter Hawkins, through the UNICEF Communications Specialist, Mr Sam Kaalu, and made available to newsmen on Friday, February 26, in Katsina.

“We are angered and saddened by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria.

“This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for children to go through; which will have long-lasting effects on their mental health and well-being.

“We utterly condemn the attack and call on those responsible to release the girls immediately; as well as for the government to take steps to ensure their safe release and the safety of all other schoolchildren in Nigeria,” he said.

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Hawkins said that children should feel safe at home and at school, at all times.

“UNICEF acknowledges efforts being made by the Government of Nigeria to secure the release of kidnapped schoolchildren; and also calls on the government and all concerned to make schools safe in Nigeria,” he said.

In the same vein, the human rights group, Amnesty International, on Friday, February 26; railed against the increasing spate of kidnappings of students in schools in the northern part of Nigeria.

Amnesty made this assertion in the aftermath of the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

1st News had also reported that the abduction which happened in the early hours of Friday was carried out by suspected bandits; who stormed the school in Hilux vehicles as well as motorcycles.

This was just as the polity was recovering from an earlier attack; after some students as well as staff of Government Science College, Kagara in Rafi Local Government of Niger State were abducted by bandits who are yet to set them free.

Also, on December 11, 2020, over 300 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State were abducted by bandits who have since released them.

In response to the abductions, Amnesty via its Twitter handle lamented that education is imperiled in the region.

“Amnesty International condemns this appalling attack; which is the latest in a string of attacks on schools in northern Nigeria. Attacks on schools and abductions of girls are war crimes.

“Education is under attack in northern Nigeria. Schools should be places of safety; and no child should have to choose between their education and their life. Other children have had to abandon their education; after being displaced by frequent violent attacks on their communities,” the human rights body tweeted.

 

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