The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday expressed deep concern about the fate of abducted students in north-central Nigeria and called for their immediate and unconditional release.
“We are appalled that two weeks after 150 students were abducted from their school, they continue to be held by their abductors,” Rushnan Murtaza, Officer in Charge, Representative UNICEF Nigeria said in a statement.
Gunmen abducted at least 150 students from the Salihu Tanko Islamiya School in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, north-central Nigeria two weeks ago.
“Parents are grieving their children’s ‘disappearance’; siblings are missing their brothers and sisters – these children must be immediately and unconditionally released and safely reunited with their families,” Murtaza added.
“It is horrifying that schools and schoolchildren continue to be targets of the attack – and in this particular incident, even children as young as 3 years old. We can only begin to imagine how frightened they are, and the impact this will have on their mental health and well-being.”
The number of reported kidnappings in the West African country has risen in recent months.
According to the Institute for Security Studies, this year is on track to be another record-breaking year for this crime.