Fate of Chibok girls remains unknown, says UN

Only fifteen out of the 219 girls still in captivity were shown in the video. PHOTO: CNN

Only fifteen out of the 219 girls still in captivity were shown in the video. PHOTO: CNN

The United Nations (UN) yesterday said the plight of 219 Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted two years ago is a major conflict that is affecting the Northeastern communities.

Fatma Samoura, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, said up to 7,000 women and girls might be living in abduction and sex slavery.
“Humanitarian agencies are concerned that two years have passed and still, the fate of the Chibok girls and the many, many other abductees is unknown,” she said.

The statement, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), quoted Samoura as saying that the abducted girls had suffered so much at the hands of their captors, as they had been on forced recruitment, forced marriage, sexual slavery and rape, and have been used to carry bombs.

“Between 2,000 and 7,000 women and girls are living in abduction and sex slavery,” said Jean Gough, Country Representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Women and girls, who have escaped Boko Haram insurgents, have reported been undergoing a systematic training programme as bombers, according to UNICEF, which added that 85 per cent of the suicide attacks by women globally in 2014 were in Nigeria.

In May 2015, it was reported that children had been used to perpetrate three-quarters of all suicide attacks in Nigeria since 2014, after many of them had been brainwashed or coerced.

The statement noted: “Effective rehabilitation for these women and girls is vital, as they rebuild their lives.”The UN stated that children have suffered disproportionately as a result of the conflict.

A UNICEF report, released earlier this week, states that 1.3 million children have been displaced by the conflict across the Lake Chad Basin, with almost one million of whom are in Nigeria.Similarly, Human Rights Watch House reported that one million children had lost access to education.

“The abducted Chibok girls have become a symbol for every girl that has gone missing at the hands of Boko Haram and every girl who insists on practicing her right to education,” said Munir Safieldin, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria.
The UN said more need to be done by the Nigerian government and the international communities to keep girls safe from the horrors other women and girls have endured.

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