Lagos - Ireland government officials have called for urgent action to rescue the schoolgirls Boko Haram abducted from Chibok exactly a year ago.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, and Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion, and North South Co-Operation, Seán Sherlock, encouraged the Multinational Joint Taskforce to defeat the terrorist group.
Flanagan said the abduction of the more than 200 schoolgirls was an outrageous act and failure to make every possible effort to rescue these girls would only embolden Boko Haram, “a terrorist group with deplorable aims and an appalling record of kidnap and violence.”
“Ireland stands with these girls, their families and their communities. We have not forgotten their plight," Flanagan said.
He urged Nigeria to commit the necessary resources to finding the girls and returning them to their families and their education, saying it was unacceptable girls should be deprived of their freedom.
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He said it was sad that schools should face attack, as they have in Nigeria, in Pakistan, in Kenya and elsewhere over the past year.
He said the recent success in pushing back Boko Haram from major towns in North Eastern Nigeria provided an opportunity to bring the conflict there to an end.
“It is critically important that the Multinational Joint Taskforce of troops from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin continues its efforts to protect innocent people and to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists,”
Sherlock condemned the acts of Boko Haram across the region.
“The increasingly violent and indiscriminate attacks of Boko Haram have targeted civilians and caused displacement of half a million people within Nigeria, while hundreds of thousands had fled across the border to Cameroon," said Sherlock.
Sherlock said the the fate of the Chibok girls is part of a humanitarian crisis in Northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Ireland has recently contributed 87 tonnes of stocks worth €1 million to NGO partner, Plan, for Nigerian refugees fleeing Boko Haram and living in camps in northern Cameroon.
- CAJ News