UNICEF asks Nigerian authorities to ensure schools’ safety

Lagos: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday said that the Nigerian authorities have a duty to ensure the safety of school children especially girls who have been targeted in Boko Haram multiple abductions in the country.

This comes a day after the terrorist organisation Boko Haram freed most of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped last month in Nigeria.

Anadolu Agency quoted UNICEF spokesperson Eva Hinds as saying in a statement that “We are pleased to see that the girls are back in the safe environment of their families.”

Hinds further said that the agency would work with local NGOs to offer medical treatments and psychosocial support for the girls and their families.

“UNICEF reiterates that schools should be safe spaces, and protected at all times. Since the start of the insurgency in 2009, over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 displaced, and almost 1,400 schools destroyed,” it said.

Last month, more than 100 girls went missing after Boko Haram militants attacked their school in northeastern Nigeria.

Boko Haram militants kidnapped nearly 300 girls from a school in Chibok in April 2014, setting off global outrage. Many of the Chibok girls were freed after negotiations, but more than 100 remain in captivity, their whereabouts unknown.

The Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009 when the militants staged an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria.

Suicide attacks, carried out by the dreaded insurgent group, have claimed more than 20,000 lives and displaced at least two million people, according to Nigerian vice-president Yemi Osinbajo.

The group is also active in the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. (ANI)