About 50% of Missing Persons in Africa Come from Nigeria

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The International Committee of Red Cross Society (ICRC) has countered insinuations that it took part in the negotiations between the federal government of Nigeria and Boko Haram terrorists for the release of Chibok girls.

This is as it decried the continued rise of missing persons in Nigeria, stating that more than 25,000 persons were reported missing to the organization.

The committee said it was only involved in the provision of logistics support with other stakeholders of the international community.

Recall that on the night of 14–15 April 2014, about 276 mostly Christian female students aged between 16 and 18 were kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.

Before the raid, the school had been closed for four weeks due to deteriorating security conditions, but the girls were recalled to write their final examination in physics.

It was not until May 2016 that the first girl was found. A few others have also managed to escape over the years. Between 2016 and 2018, 103 of the victims were freed following negotiations between the Nigerian government and the terrorists.

Head of Delegation, International Conference of ICRC, Mr. Yann Bonzon, spoke at a press conference organized by the Human Rights Commission to mark the International Day of the Disappeared Persons (missing and kidnapped victims).

Yann who was responding to posers by journalists on why the ICRC has stopped talks with armed men for the release of the remaining kidnapped victims said the ICRC only “provided logistics support with other stakeholders as the negotiations were ongoing which was part of its humanitarian mandates.

“I just want to say that ICRC has not been negotiating. ICRC has provided as a humanitarian organization with this particular mandate, neutrality, the logistical support.”

Yann decried the continued rise of missing persons in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast, where he said the ongoing conflict in the region has continued to have “devastating impacts on the people of the country”

He said: “Nigeria, unfortunately, has the largest number of missing persons ever registered by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Africa since the beginning of the country in 2009, more than 25,000 persons were reported missing to International Committee of the Red Cross and the Nigerian Red Cross Society.

“This includes more than 2000 cases that were registered after January 2021. The number of missing persons continues to rise every day. Yet, the ICRC noticed that this figure represents a fraction of a wider undocumented humanitarian tragedy.

“Furthermore, I would like to highlight that these figures reveal a very alarming fact that children are particularly more vulnerable than adults to disagreements in Nigeria as the conflicts continue ravaging the country.

“More than half of the missing persons registered by the International Committee of the Red Cross the Nigerian Red Cross Society in northeast Nigeria were minors. At the time of disagreements.

“We need immediate action that matches the scale and urgency of this humanitarian tragedy”, he appealed.

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