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AU condemns mass abduction of schoolchildren, women in Nigeria

African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki (Photo/Jackson Mnyamwezi)

The African Union  (AU) has condemned the mass abduction of schoolchildren and women on Thursday 7 March 2024, following an armed intrusion into the village of Kuriga, in northwestern Nigeria.

In a statement, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Mahamat Faki, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of the abducted children and women.

Channel 1

According to BBC, more than 280 Nigerian school pupils have been abducted in the north-western town of Kuriga, officials say.

The pupils were in the assembly ground around 08:30 (07:30 GMT) when dozens of gunmen on motorcycles rode through the school, one witness said.

The students, between the ages of eight and 15, were taken away, along with a teacher, they added.

Kidnap gangs, known as bandits, have seized thousands of people in recent years, especially the north-west.

The AU Chairperson has affirmed that this despicable act is a further illustration of the pervading threat posed by terrorism, violent extremism and banditry to the peace and stability of the Nigerian State, the West African region and the Continent as a whole.

Those kidnapped are usually freed after a ransom is paid.

The mass abduction was confirmed by Uba Sani, the governor of Kaduna state, which includes Kuriga.

He said 187 students had gone missing from a secondary school and 125 from the local primary school but that 25 had since returned.

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