In Nigeria, child abductions are becoming commonplace
High school girls kidnapped in Jangebe when they were released on March 2, 2021, in Nigeria.
REUTERS - AFOLABI SOTUNDE
Text by: RFI Follow
Last year 75 million children in 35 countries saw their schooling disrupted by attacks on their schools.
This prompted the UN to dedicate September 9 as the International Day for the Protection of Education against Attacks.
Nigeria is emblematic of this scourge, since the hostage-taking of schoolgirls by Boko Haram in the mid-2010s. And the phenomenon has worsened further this year, despite some progress in the northeast of the country.
While many Nigerian children have found their way back to school in Borno State, eight years after the spectacular kidnappings by Boko Haram, across Nigeria, 1.3 million schoolchildren were still attacked during the 2020-2021 school year.
The phenomenon is worsening, alarms Peter Hawkins, representative of Unicef in the country.
There is a worsening not only in the number of attacks on schools, but in the indirect consequences of these attacks.
For example, in Zamfara state, last Thursday at 11 a.m., a school was attacked and
73 children abducted
The consequence is that the governor closed all schools in Zamfara State!
Kidnapping of schoolchildren for ransom as in Zamfara State is becoming commonplace in Nigeria, in the face of jihadist attacks and rarer conflicts between herders and farmers.
Information sharing, with the help of the international community, is necessary for the Nigerian authorities to put in place state-by-state action plans.
One of the solutions may be to increase the number of schools to avoid the concentration of pupils and long and therefore dangerous journeys.
The next international conference on safe schools will be held in Nigeria, in Abuja, from October 25 to 27.
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