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Concerns deepen over attacks against children and child abductions in parts of West and Central Africa

Executive Director of the Unit­ed Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, has lamented that 150 children were reportedly abducted from a school in Kaduna State, Nigeria, on July 5, marking the latest inci­dent in trend of attacks against children and abductions, including students, in parts of West and Central Africa.

A statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by UNICEF Communication Specialist, Samuel Kaalu, said: “We are concerned that, as in previous years, non-state armed groups and conflict parties in Burkina Faso, Cameroun, the Central Af­rican Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Niger and Nigeria would intensify their violent actions in the com­ing weeks as the rainy season approaches.”

The statement reads in parts: “Such incidents appear to be increasing in frequency, rais­ing fears for the safety and well being of the region’s children. Already in 2020, according to the latest report of the United Nations Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, one in three child victims of grave violations has been in West and Central Africa.”

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