To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Nigerian counterpart on helping to prevent the kidnap of children from school in that country.
20 April 2021
We are deeply concerned by the kidnapping and continued captivity of schoolchildren by Boko Haram (BH) and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) in North East Nigeria. Schoolgirl Leah Sharibu, who was abducted by ISWA in 2018, and a number of the Chibok schoolgirls, abducted by BH in 2014, are among those still missing. The British High Commission continues to raise these cases with the Nigerian Government, most recently in March 2021.
We are also concerned by the recent attacks on schools in Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna and Katsina States, conducted by criminal groups. I publicly condemned these attacks and stressed the importance of all children being able to access an education without fear. The UK Deputy National Security Advisor discussed the abduction of Nigerian schoolboys in Kankara in Katsina State with the President's Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, on 15 December 2020. Our High Commissioner in Abuja spoke to the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police on improving school safety and addressing kidnapping in March 2021. We have provided mentoring and capacity building for units of the Nigerian Police Force to improve their anti-kidnap capacity and response to organised crime groups in Nigeria.