The United Nations has commended the government of Nigeria for responding promptly to the abduction of over 300 students in Kankara, Katsina State that resulted in their eventual rescue.
In a statement issued by Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, Mr. Guterres, the Scretary-General applauded “the swift action taken by the Nigerian authorities to rescue the children” while also stressing the importance that those children and their families are now “provided with the necessary health and psychosocial support”.
After the rescue, The boys we taken by bus to the capital of Katsina, and were met by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Katsina State authorities claimed that the children were abducted by local bandits, casting doubt on the initial claim of responsibility by militant Jihadist group, Boko Haram.
The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, also tweeted that he was “delighted” that the schoolboys had been freed, and congratulated the Nigerian Government for securing their release, calling on authorities to “make schools safe for teaching and learning”.
In another related development, The United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) also decried the incessant attacks on schools and pupils in the country describing such happenings as “far too often”
UNICEF’s Country’s Representative, Mr. Peter Hawkins said that “attacks directly targeting children in the middle of the night, in a place where they should feel safe, was an outrage. Schools should be safe. Children should never be the target of attacks – and yet, far too often in Nigeria, they are precisely that – victims of attacks on their schools,” he said.
Hawkins, who stated that attacks on educational facilities were a grave violation of children’s rights, added that the incident was a disturbing reminder of the heavy toll that violence has taken on civilians in northwest Nigeria, including children.
“Interventions must be put in place to ensure that schools are safe and that all Nigerian children can learn without fear. These interventions should take into account the important role that communities can play in ensuring the safety of schools, including effective support for school-based management committees (SBMCs),” the statement continued, adding, “no cause justifies attacks against children and schools. Such cruel disregard for humanity must come to an end.”