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UNICEF demands Borno schoolgirls release

05 May 2014, 10:11Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has called for immediate release of abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno State.

In a statement obtained by this publication, Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, denounced the kidnapping of the pupils by suspected members of the notorious Boko Haram sect late last month.

“UNICEF condemns in the strongest possible terms the reported abduction of some 100 school girls between 12 and 17 years old from their school hostel in Chibok Borno State on Monday night, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release,” read the statement.

Fontaine added that UNICEF was deeply concerned about the persistent trend of attacks on schools in Nigeria.

“Most recently, unidentified gunmen killed 53 children between 13 and 17 years old at the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, in February.”

The international organisation said such brutal acts of violence were unacceptable.

“Attacks on schools deny children their right to learn in a safe environment and can rob them of their future. Wherever it takes place, abduction of children is a crime and illegal under international law.”

The attack on the Chibok school took place hours after over 70 people were killed in a bomb attack at a bus station in the Nyanya neighbourhood, close to the capital, Abuja.

Another bomb explosion at the site killed scores of people.

“UNICEF expresses its deepest solidarity to all the communities affected by these horrific acts, and stands with the families of the abducted children in these difficult times. The agency calls for greater efforts to protect all children throughout Nigeria.”

– CAJ News

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