- Amnesty says “attacks on schools and abductions of girls are war crimes”
Global human rights group, Amnesty International, on Friday described as “appalling” the abduction of over 300 girls at Government Secondary School Jangebe, Zamfara State, stating that all Nigerians should note that “attacks on schools and abductions of girls are war crimes.”
In the same vein, the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) has urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency take steps to rescue the schoolgirls.
Amnesty International said in series of tweets that “the abduction of girls at Government Secondary School Jangebe is a serious violation of international humanitarian law, and it undermines the right to education for thousands of children in northern Nigeria.
“The girls abducted are in serious risk of being harmed. Nigerian authorities must take all measures to return them to safety, along with all children currently under the custody of armed groups.
“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.
“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.”
Amnesty International lamented that the latest abduction is one too many following the Chibok abduction in 2014, #Dapchi abduction 2018, #Kankara abduction 2020, #Kagara abduction 2021 #Jangebe abduction 2021.
On its part, the UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, said on Friday in Abuja regretted that the attack came so soon after a similar attack on a boy’s school in Niger State.
Hawkins in describing the incidents as a gross violation of the children’s rights said that, “UNICEF expressed concern at reports of an overnight attack at the Government Girls Secondary School in
Jangebe, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria, where an unconfirmed number of schoolgirls were kidnapped.
“We are angered and saddened and 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 – one which could 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 and for the government to take steps to ensure their safe release and the safety of all other schoolchildren
in Nigeria. Children should feel safe at home and at school at all times – and parents should not need to worry for the safety of their children when they send them off to school in the morning.
“UNICEF acknowledges efforts being made by the Government of Nigeria to secure the release of kidnapped school children in Nigeria and calls on the government and all concerned to make schools safe in Nigeria”, the statement.
Meanwhile, the Fund says it is working with partners to confirm the exact number of kidnapped students, currently estimated to be more than 300.