Armed group abducts scores of people in north Nigeria

 

Scores of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria's northern state of Borno were reportedly kidnapped recently by an armed group in that part of the most populous African country, the United Nations (UN) has confirmed, Paralel.Az reports.

In a statement obtained Thursday by Xinhua in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, Mohamed Fall, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said an estimate of more than 200 people taking refuge at the IDP camp in the Ngala local government area of Borno were kidnapped by an armed group while fetching firewood on Feb. 29.

"The United Nations strongly condemns the reported abduction of internally displaced persons, many of them women, boys and girls," the statement said.

While some older women and children under the age of 10 were reportedly released by the abductors, scores of IDPs remain unaccounted for, according to the statement.

It noted that the victims had ventured beyond the safety of the trenches surrounding Ngala in search of firewood.

The UN called for the release of those abducted while also reminding all parties to the conflict to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians from harm.

Noting more than 2 million people in Borno and the neighboring Adamawa and Yobe states have fled to garrison towns where they have few, if any, livelihood options, the UN statement said "those who venture beyond the protective trenches surrounding these towns to forage or farm do so at great peril, with killings, abductions, forced recruitment, and sexual and gender-based violence rampant."

Although no armed group in Nigeria has so far claimed responsibility for the recent mass kidnapping, about 10 years ago, in April 2014, the Boko Haram terror group was responsible for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from their dormitories in the town of Chibok, also in Borno.

Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria since 2009 while also extending its attacks to other countries in the Lake Chad Basin.

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