UN Secretary-General calls for “immediate and unconditional” release of abducted school children in Katsina State

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called for “immediate and unconditional” release of hundreds of children, reportedly abducted after Friday’s attack on a school by suspected armed bandits in Katsina State, northwest Nigeria

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned the attack and called for the children’s safe return to their families. 

“He reiterates that attacks on schools and other educational facilities constitute a grave violation of human rights. He urges the Nigerian authorities to bring those responsible for this act to justice,” the statement added. 

Mr. Guterres also reaffirmed UN’s solidarity and support to the Government and people of Nigeria in their fight against terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also denounced the attack and called for the children’s release. 

In a separate statement, Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said that the violence “is a grim reminder” that abductions of children and widespread grave violations of children’s rights continue to take place in northern Nigeria. 

“Children should feel safe at home, in schools and in their playgrounds at all times. We stand with the families of the missing children and the community affected by this horrifying event.” 

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