Parents devastate girls’ boarding school: the military is looking for 317 kidnapped schoolgirls

Parents devastate girls boarding school
The military is looking for 317 kidnapped schoolgirls

A school is attacked again in Nigeria. 50 girls are able to flee, but the “armed bandits” bring more than 300 schoolgirls under their control. The parents react angrily, the police and the military start a rescue mission.

It is the third attack on a school in Nigeria within three months: In the north-west of the country, 317 girls from the Government Girls Science Secondary School of Jangebe were abducted by “armed bandits” on Friday night, a police spokesman said. The Zamfara state police started a search and rescue operation together with the military, which, according to eyewitnesses, parents and residents of Jangebe also joined.

The attackers allegedly attacked the boarding school in northwest Nigeria at night and broke into the dormitories. Around 50 schoolgirls managed to escape. Her angry parents subsequently refused to leave her for police questioning and devastated the school. “They became violent and broke doors and windows. We had no choice but to let them go,” said one teacher.

The situation in Jangebe was tense after the crime: angry villagers attacked a vehicle convoy with journalists, security forces and officials that came to the village after the kidnapping. “The villagers threw stones at our vehicles,” said Umar Shehu, a reporter for the Daily Trust newspaper. “We were forced to turn back quickly.” A video journalist was injured by a stone in the head.

It’s probably about the money

Nigeria’s President Muhamadu Buhari condemned the kidnapping as “inhuman and completely unacceptable”. “This government will not allow itself to be blackmailed by bandits who target innocent students for expecting high ransom payments,” he said. UN General Secretary António Guterres called for the schoolgirls to be released immediately. “Schools should remain a safe space where people can learn without fear of violence,” said his spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.

The incident is the third attack on a school in Nigeria within three months. In mid-February, 42 people were kidnapped from a boarding school in the neighboring state of Niger, including 27 students. You have not been released to this day. According to the authorities, negotiations with the kidnappers are still ongoing. In December, more than 300 boys were abducted from a school in Kankara, Katsina state. They were later released.

For years, attacks by criminal gangs have been increasing in the north-west and central Nigeria. The gangs, known as “bandits” in Nigeria, kidnap people and are responsible for looting and rape. The gangs act primarily for financial reasons and have no known ideological orientations. However, there are growing concerns that they may be cooperating with jihadists from the northeast. These have been fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state for years.

The aid organization Save the Children also condemned the repeated attacks on schools as “unacceptable”. “Schools must not be places of fear, they must be safe places of learning where children can play, learn, develop and live out their full potential,” said Mercy Gichuhi, country director of Save the Children in Nigeria.

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