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Scores of Civilians Dead, UN Chief Condemns ‘appalling’ Attacks in Nigeria

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Scores of Civilians Dead, UN Chief Condemns ‘appalling’ Attacks in Nigeria

The UN chief extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims

GENEVA, Switzerland, January 11, 2022 / APO Group / –

The Secretary General, António Guterres, strongly condemned on Monday the “gruesome” attacks carried out over the weekend in the Nigerian state of Zamfara in which dozens of civilians were killed.

According to news agencies, some 200 people were killed and 10,000 displaced in attacks by armed bandits, following military airstrikes on their hideouts last week.

In a statement, the UN chief expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and urged the Nigerian authorities to “spare no effort to bring those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice.”

Mr. Guterres also reaffirmed the solidarity and support of the United Nations to the Government and people of Nigeria in their fight against terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime.

Increase in kidnappings and violent crimes

Northwest Nigeria has seen a sharp increase in mass kidnappings and other violent crimes since the end of 2020.

In April 2021, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned that years of insecurity have created a massive humanitarian emergency in the Lake Chad basin and uprooted some 3.3 million people and, in October, the The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) warned that displaced families in this part of the country were “knocking on the door of hunger.”

Approximately 4.4 million people faced severe food insecurity in the conflict-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. More than a million children were already malnourished.

Also last year, after a series of attacks and kidnappings in schools, more than a dozen independent experts appointed by the UN warned that very little was being done to help traumatized adolescents, and the representative of the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) in the country, Peter Hawkins, explained that such incidents have become “a way of life” for many.

Bandits hoping to make a quick buck by forcing families and authorities to pay the ransom money for their hostages often target institutions outside the reach of state control and usually in rural areas.

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