An international organisation, Save the children has called for the immediate release of the about 450 school girls kidnapped in Zamfara State, Nigeria.

The aid organisation also requested that perpetrators be brought to book.

In a statement signed by Director of Advocacy and Campaign, Amanuel Mamo, Save the Children said it is horrified on the latest in a series of abductions in the region.

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Amanuel Mamo said over the past months, hundreds of children in Nigeria have gone through the trauma of being abducted by armed groups, this includes 27 students who were kidnapped earlier this month in Niger state, and some 300 school boys who were abducted in Katsina in the country’s northwest in December last year.

Save the Children warns that being kidnapped, witnessing kidnappings, experiencing school attacks, and being forced to flee and take refuge from armed groups are extremely traumatizing events for young children and adolescents, including girls.

SCI also express concern about the protection of children in places that should be the safest for them like the schools.

It said schools where children come to learn should not be a place of fear and urged the Nigerian Government to ensure children have access to safe, quality and uninterrupted education at all levels.

Country Director for Save the Children International,  Mercy Gichuhi, said:

“We are deeply concerned about the abduction of these girls from the Government Girls Secondary School by suspected armed groups this morning. Their safety and well-being remain our primary concern, and our hearts go out to them and their families.

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“It is unacceptable that attacks on schools and students have become a recurring scenario in the Northern Nigeria. Schools are supposed to be safe learning zones for children to play, learn, realise and release their full potential. Instead, they are being turned into places of fear.”

“We condemn any attacks on schools, students and teachers. Children have the right to have access to undisrupted and quality education in a safe environment.”

“These attack and abductions can cause severe psychological trauma to children, and it puts them at risk of never returning to school, as they or their parents think it’s too dangerous.’

“The children and their parents must be given adequate psycho-social support for a swift return to normal life, and those who are still missing must be found as soon as possible. Every day spent outside of their community is one too many.”

 

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