UNICEF demands whereabouts of 96 Chibok girls, pleads for actions to protect children in Nigeria

UNICEF demands whereabouts of 96 Chibok girls, pleads for actions to protect children in Nigeria

The United Nations’ Children Agency, UNICEF has called for immediate action to protect young people affected by the conflicts in Nigeria, especially in the insurgency-prone areas.

Nine years after their kidnapping, 96 out of the 276 girls who were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno, northern Nigeria, are still being held captive, according to a statement from UNICEF.

Chibok schoolgirls were abducted from their school on April 14, 2014.

The incident sparked local and international outrage with political leaders, activists, and advocates, putting pressure on the Nigerian government under former President Goodluck Jonathan to rescue the girls while offering intelligence and support.

Speaking on the impact of the conflict on children, Cristian Munduate, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, said thousands of children continue to experience killings and kidnapping including forced recruitment into armed groups.

She applauded the Nigerian government for signing the handover protocol supported by UNICEF and contributing $314.5 million to the financing plan for safe schools in 2022.

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The UNICEF official promised that the group would continue to work with the government to support the immediate reunion and participation in reintegration programs of any children encountered during armed conflict or released from armed groups.

Northern Nigeria has been subjected to a series of attacks on schools and religious institutions since February 2021 by armed insurgents.

Many schools in the region have been closed due to rising insecurity, therefore denying children access to education.

UNICEF, originally called the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund in full, now officially United Nations Children’s Fund, is an agency of the United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.

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