Zamfara Kidnapping: SERAP Petitions UN Seeking Decisive Action In Nigeria

Richard Ginika Izuora

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned the United Nations, UN Security Council and its members urging them to “urgently hold a special session on Nigeria; and to visit the country to press the authorities to end continuing abductions of students; and the increasing level of insecurity across the country.”

This letter was dated 26 February 2021; and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.

According to the SERAP, the UN Council and its members “must treat the failure of Nigerian authorities to prevent and prosecute attacks on students; and to end the growing insecurity in the country as a fundamental breach of the UN Charter and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations.”

“Attacks on schools and abductions of students are a violation of children’s rights. Nigeria has legal obligations to ensure the immediate release of the abducted students; teachers; and family members; provide the necessary counselling following the traumatic experience; and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the letter read.

SERAP also added, “These abductions and attacks also undermine the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. If not urgently prevented and combatted, such attacks may rise to the level of threat to international peace and security. The first ‘purpose’ listed for the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security; and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace.”

According to the letter: “SERAP is concerned that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is failing to uphold its responsibility to protect Nigerian students from increasing abductions; as well as attacks on other people by armed men; and if not urgently addressed these abductions and attacks may constitute a threat to regional peace and security; and by extension, international peace and also security.

“Ensuring the release of the students and holding perpetrators accountable will contribute to ending impunity. A UN Security Council resolution would help to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to take urgent and concrete measures; to end the abductions of students, secure their safety and promote the security as well as safety of all Nigerians.

“The Security Council must act now to protect Nigerian students as well as other citizens if the Council is not to be accused of failing the people of Nigeria.”

SERAP, therefore, urged the Security Council and its members to adopt a resolution to federal government to urgently take steps to ensure the safe release of the students and workers; and to hold to account those responsible for the attacks on Nigerian students; characterize the abductions of students and attacks on other people as terrorist acts and mobilize international support for Nigeria to combat these attacks; including for the authorities to adopt and implement measures to tackle the causes and consequences of these attacks; as well as end the abductions and attacks in the country and express concern that unabated abductions of students as well as attacks on other people by terrorists may ultimately contribute to undermining the ability of the Nigerian authorities to provide security, governance, social and economic development in the count as well as support collaboration with the African Union Peace and Security Council to combat the threats posed by terrorists and enable both institutions to support stability and development in Nigeria.

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