United Nations Children Fund on Friday frowned over the abduction of over 300 students at the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, in a statement faulted the attack which took place in North-West Nigeria, describing it as “a gross violation of children’s rights.”
Hawkins decried that “the school attack is coming a little over a week after a similar attack in Niger State on a school for boys.”
He added that UNICEF was working to confirm the exact number of kidnapped students, currently estimated to be more than 300
“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 about 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,” Hawkins said.
Meanwhile, a global rights group, Amnesty International, has also condemned the strings of abductions of students in schools in the northern part of Nigeria.
Reacting to the strings of abductions of students in the North, Amnesty International stated on its official Twitter account that education is under attack in the region.
“Amnesty International condemns this horrific 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,” AI said.