Richard Ginika Izuora
Nigeria is reportedly the country with largest missing persons caseload in Africa as well as over half of those registered as missing in Africa.
This was revealed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, which claims Nigeria accounts for 24,000 missing people.
Mr. Aliyu Dawobe, ICRC’s Public Relations Officer, made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday, in Abuja, in which he said that more than 44,000 people across Africa have been registered as missing; with children accounting for over 45 per cent of the cases at the time they were missing.
“Eighty-two per cent of the missing are registered in seven countries in Africa; namely Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon.
“Nigeria accounts for 24,000 missing people, over half of those registered as missing in Africa; and represents ICRC’s largest missing caseload on the continent. More than 90 per cent of the cases are the result of the armed conflicts in the northeast of the country and 57 per cent were children at the time they went missing,’’ he said.
August 30th is marked as the International Day of the Disappeared he said and that ICRC stands with the families and relatives of the missing and commemorates with them, expressing its solidarity, assuring them that they are not alone and their loved ones are not forgotten.
Dawobe said that the African continent had seen a rise in the number of people registered with the ICRC as missing since 2020; due to armed conflicts and other situations of violence and that the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 led to restrictions that added more challenges in searching for missing people.
He assured that the ICRC will continue to do its best in supporting and seeking to provide answers to the families of missing persons.