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Friday, February 23, 2024

Nigeria: more than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped

On February 19, during an attack on a school in the town of Dapchi, Yobe State, over 100 Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted by suspected insurgents from the Boko Haram terrorist organization. The attack and kidnapping were condemned by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), which called for the release of the abducted schoolgirls.

UNICEF's Director for West and Central Africa, Marie-Pierre Poirier, said that "attacks on schools are a violation of children's rights and international humanitarian law. Schools should be safe and protected spaces at all times." Four years ago 276 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Chibok. To this day, many of them have still not returned. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the Nigerian authorities to swiftly bring to justice those responsible for the attack and abduction.

Since the start of the insurgency in northern Nigeria in 2009, more than 2,295 teachers have been killed, 19,000 people displaced and almost 1,400 schools destroyed. This violence is at the root of the humanitarian crisis affecting all the countries of the Lake Chad Basin. It is estimated that up to eight million people are in need of some form of humanitarian aid in the north-east, with Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states the hardest hit.

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), $1.6 billion is required to meet the vital needs of 10.7 million people in the region.