Washington - The UN Security Council strongly condemned the abduction of hundreds ofschoolgirls Friday, as the world body's secretary general dispatched an envoy to help find them.
The unanimous declaration said the mass kidnappings "may amount to crimes against humanity" under international law, but made no explicit reference to charges in the International Criminal Court.
The 15 members of the council said they would follow the situation and consider "appropriate measures" to take against Boko Haram, which carried out the kidnapping.
The council members "expressed their profound outrage and condemn in the strongest terms the abduction of 276 schoolgirls" on April 14 in the northeastern town of Chibook, and the kidnapping of eight more girls from Warabe on May 5.
The statement urged their immediate release, without conditions.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced he is sending his special representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, to Abuja to discuss ways of helping authorities locate the girls.