Amnesty International decries 98 Chibok Girls’ nine-year captivity, other abductions

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Amnesty International has decried what it describes as the utter failure of the Nigerian authorities to learn from the heartbreak of Chibok town in Borno State and, ultimately, to protect children. The non-governmental organisation made the assertion in a statement on Friday upon the backdrop of the ninth anniversary of Boko Haram’s abduction of 276 students from a girls’ secondary school in Chibok.

At least 98 girls are reportedly still being held by Boko Haram and a slew of abductions have taken place since. Since the Chibok schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram, other schools have been targeted, with girls being abducted, raped, killed or forced into “marriages”, Amnesty International noted. According to the group, the Nigerian authorities, however, have not carried out a single credible investigation into the security failures that left children vulnerable to the atrocities committed by Boko Haram and gunmen.

“Parents of the 98 Chibok school girls who are still being held by Boko Haram — as well as other children abducted by gunmen — are living in anguish, knowing that their children are in the hands of ruthless individuals who subject their loved ones to chilling brutalities,” said Isa Sanusi, Acting Director of Amnesty International Nigeria. “It is beyond time that the Nigerian authorities took meaningful action to counter armed groups like Boko Haram and gunmen. Nigeria has an obligation to implement safeguards to protect all children, and the lack of accountability for these callous crimes is fueling impunity.

“The missing Chibok school girls should be returned home to their families, and all those responsible for committing grave violations must face justice.”

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