Kagara: Abduction of school children “abhorrent and unacceptable” – UN

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UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned Wednesday’s deadly attack by gunmen on the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger.

No fewer than 27 were kidnapped in the night raid on the boarding school, reports say.

According to the BBC, three members of staff and 12 of their relatives were also abducted by the assailants.

The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) Mr Frank Mba, on Thursday said a joint search and rescue mission was underway to free the abductees.

In a statement by his Spokesman, Guterres described attacks on schools and other educational facilities as “abhorrent and unacceptable”.

He urged the Federal Government to “spare no efforts in rescuing those abducted and holding to account those responsible for this act”.

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Guterres expressed his “deepest condolences” to the bereaved and his sympathies to affected families.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also reacted in a statement in which it condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms”.

It called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of any children who might be missing and their safe return to their families.

UNICEF quoted its Nigeria Representative, Mr Peter Hawkins, as saying that attacks on schools were a violation of children’s rights.

“Children should feel safe at home and at school at all times.

“Parents should not need to worry for the safety of their children when they send them off to school in the morning,” Hawkins said, according to the statement.

He acknowledged efforts being taken by security agencies to rescue the missing children and safely return them to their families.

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