United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of hundreds of boys that were abducted by suspected bandits, after an attack on their school in Katsina State.
More than 300 children are reported to be still missing, with many feared abducted, after armed gunmen stormed the all-boys Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, late Friday evening.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the secretary-general on Monday strongly condemned the attack and called for the safe return of the children to their families.
Guterres reiterated that attacks on schools and other educational facilities constituted a grave violation of human rights, and urged Nigerian authorities to bring those responsible for the act to justice.
He also reaffirmed the solidarity and support of the UN for the government and people of Nigeria in their fight against terrorism, violent extremism and organised crime.
Besides, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has denounced the attack and called for the children’s release.
In a separate statement, Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said that the violence “is a grim reminder that abductions of children and widespread grave violations of children’s rights continue to take place in northern Nigeria.
“Children should feel safe at home, in schools and in their playgrounds at all times. We stand with the families of the missing children and the community affected by this horrifying event.”
In February 2018, Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped over 100 school girls from a secondary school in the town of Dapchi, northeast Nigeria.
Six years ago, in 2014, the militant group abducted 276 girls from their school dormitory in Chibok. Many of them remain missing.