Sport Crying and anguish in northwestern Nigeria after the abduction of 317 teenage girls

17:20  28 february  2021
17:20  28 february  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Pleurs et angoisse dans le nord-ouest du Nigeria après l'enlèvement de 317 adolescentes © Provided by Le Point

A Sitting against the earthen wall of her house, Humaira Mustapha, mother of two of the 317 teenage girls kidnapped by "bandits" in the north west of Nigeria , let her tears flow, indifferent to the passage of visitors.

Hafsa and Aisha, her two daughters, 14 and 13, were sleeping in their dormitory at Jangebe State School in Zamfara State when armed men kidnapped them, marking yet another mass kidnapping of children, in Nigeria.

"As soon as I think of my daughters, an indescribable sadness invades me", says the mother of the family, wiping her tears with her blue hijab.

"As soon as I serve food for their little sister, who has stayed at home, I start to cry, because I imagine the hunger and thirst they must endure," she continues.

317 teenage girls kidnapped in Nigeria

 317 teenage girls kidnapped in Nigeria © Copyright 2020, The Obs Three hundred and seventeen teenage girls were kidnapped after the attack on their boarding school overnight from Thursday to Friday by gunmen in northwestern Nigeria , announced the local police this Friday, February 26, which specifies that a rescue operation has been launched.

"I haven't eaten anything since their abduction, I can't swallow anything."

Military Uniforms

In the streets of this quiet and very poor village in northwestern Nigeria, life continued on Saturday, in an atmosphere of palpable anxiety.

"In fact, nobody knows how the girls are treated by their captors, and that really worries everyone", confides to the AFP Bello Gidan-Ruwa, a resident of Jangebe.

"The government says it is making a lot of effort to find them safe and sound, but we will believe them the day they are released," he said.

During the night of Thursday to Friday, more than 100 armed men, dressed in military uniforms invaded the village, shooting in the air and provoking the inhabitants by shouting, reported witnesses of the attack.

42 people including students abducted last week from Nigeria's Kagara released

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No one then dared to leave his home, and the "bandits" went to the school dormitories, where they kidnapped the teenage girls, forcing them to walk away with them.

Hidden under the bed

About fifty of them managed to escape in confusion.

"They (the attackers) arrived at the school around 1:00 am, and they woke us up screaming insults, and shooting in the air," remembers Shamsiyya Mukhtar, one of the survivors.

"I hid under the bed until they left, others hid in the toilet," said the 13-year-old girl. "It really hurts me to think about my friends, I pray a lot for their return, I feel very lonely."

A few days after this new mass kidnapping of children in Nigeria, the schoolyard, usually so busy and full of life, was completely deserted.

It is hardly if the bleating of the goats, and the song of the birds comes to break the deafening silence which fell on the scene of the attack.

Only the principal deputy of the establishment remains there, with a handful of security personnel.

Nigeria: 27 adolescents released, more than 300 young girls still wanted

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Inside the building, bunk metal beds, old damaged foam mattresses and abandoned clothes bear witness to a precarious life in this public school, in the heart of a region plagued by extreme poverty.

The chairs and tables in the classrooms are covered with dust, but the school had a dozen computers and books.

Many in northern Nigeria, a region that already has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world, fear that these kidnappings will further discourage parents from sending their children to school.

"I would still have preferred that my two daughters were killed", confides Abubakar Zaki, father overwhelmed by pain. "At least I would have buried them and I would know that they are with Allah, rather than knowing that they are in the hands of bandits."

Lure of gain

These armed groups, which most often operate for the lure of gain more than out of ideological conviction, terrorize the populations in the north-west and center-west of the country, steal livestock, loot villages and organize kidnappings for ransom.

Since the beginning of December, they have also carried out mass kidnappings of children, as in Kankara, in the neighboring state of Katsina where more than 300 young boys had been kidnapped.

Last week, the governor of Zamfara Bello Matawalle, where the criminals were from, granted amnesty to one of the masterminds of this kidnapping, "sending the wrong message" to these groups, according to experts from the region.

After this new mass kidnapping on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari , much maligned in the face of the catastrophic security situation in the north of the country, where he is from, assured that he would not "give in to the blackmail" of "bandits".

28/02/2021 13:30:52 - Jangebe (Nigeria) (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

Nigeria: Armed men abduct students in new school kidnapping .
Armed men stormed a college in north-west Nigeria in the early hours of Friday morning, opened fire and kidnapped an as yet unknown number of students, a police spokesman told CNN. © Google Maps The students were abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Mando, Kaduna. It is the third mass kidnapping from a school in northern Nigeria this year and police say they are working to rescue the students. "The police and the military are on top of the situation.

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