Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, has expressed concern over the incessant abduction of schoolchildren in Nigeria.
Thomas-Greenfield noted that the Nigerian government must “hold people accountable and really have them punished for those kinds of acts.”
While speaking during a telephonic conference on how the US plans to mitigate conflict and enhance peace in Nigeria, Ms Thomas-Greenfield explained, “I was reminded today that when I was asked early in my tenure what keeps me awake at night, and on that day that I was asked that question, Nigerian children had been kidnapped from a school.”
Bandits and armed groups have recently abducted schoolchildren across Katsina, Zamfara, Niger and Kaduna states, collecting huge ransoms and killing some of their victims after days or months in captivity.
“And again, that is something that continues to happen in Nigeria. It’s something that we all have to work to address. We have to hold people accountable and really have them punished for those kinds of acts,” the envoy added.
The US ambassador to the UN also disclosed the US efforts in training and equipping Nigeria’s law enforcement officers, noting that the American government would not hesitate to call out President Muhammadu Buhari’s government out when human rights violations are committed.
The American envoy explained, “We have called the government out when we have seen violations being committed. And so as part of our work with Nigerian security services is also to help them be more effective and efficient in providing that kind of support and security for all Nigerians, but particularly for young children and young girls who are trying to get educated.”