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Amnesty says over 1,500 school children abducted by armed groups in Nigeria

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Over 1,500 school children have been kidnapped by armed groups in Nigeria since Boko Haram abducted 276 Chibok schoolgirls.

This is the situation according to an investigation report released by Amnesty International‘s Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho, on Thursday.

Nigerian authorities were chastised in the report for failing to learn from the Chibok incident and prevent such crimes.

“Nigerian is failing to protect vulnerable children. By refusing to respond to alerts of impending attacks on schools across the north of the country, the Nigerian authorities have failed to prevent mass abductions of thousands of school children.

“In all cases, the Nigerian authorities have remained shockingly unwilling to investigate these attacks or to ensure that the perpetrators of these callous crimes face justice. Every fresh attack is followed by further abductions that deprive school children of their right to liberty — and leave victims’ families with no hope of accessing justice, truth, or reparations.

Read also: Amnesty Int’l condemns DSS invasion of civil society’s office

“The Nigerian authorities must urgently comply with the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to which it is a state party. They must take concrete steps to prevent the abduction of children and ensure that those suspected of criminal responsibility face justice in fair trials and rescue the hundreds of children who remain in captivity,” Ojigho said.

Many educational institutions have been forced to close as a result of the attacks on schools, according to Amnesty International.

“As a result, affected regions have seen a decline in school enrollment and attendance, as well as a rise in child marriage and pregnancies of school-age girls,” the statement added.

In 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, sparking one of the biggest global social media campaigns, with tweeters using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

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