UNICEF Nig condemns abduction of 317 schoolgirls in Zamfara

• Says its violation of child right to education

UNICEF has expressed concern at reports of an overnight attack at the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, where a number of 317 schoolgirls were kidnapped.

UNICEF in a press release made available to newsmen in Bauchi stated that “We are angered and saddened by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria.”

The UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins,  also stated that “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.”

He added that “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.”

Peter Hawkins further stated that “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.”

The release further contained that, “UNICEF acknowledges efforts being made by the Government of Nigeria to secure the release of the kidnapped school children in Nigeria and calls on the government and all concerned to make schools safe in Nigeria.”

The release concluded that the school attack came just over a week after a similar attack in Niger State’s all-boys boarding school.

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