The recent increase of mass kidnappings and attacks in North West and Central Nigeria causes fear and harms the most vulnerable among the population, children and women.
The EU calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, including the Kagara schoolboys taken more than a week ago, and the hundreds of girls abducted today from their school in Jangebe, Zamfara state.
The disappearance of the schoolchildren and attacks on schools have become the hallmark of bandits, criminal gangs and non-state armed groups operating in the region. These groups indiscriminately target the young, the innocent, and the vulnerable by kidnapping for ransom, killing, pillaging and looting, driven by financial motives and a desire to spread fear.
Children must not suffer from the consequences of conflicts. They must be protected as they have a key role to play in building a present and a future, where peace will prevail, as we have stated at the occasion of the international day against children in conflict. The EU is ready to engage further with the Nigerian authorities and other international partners in order to help protect civilians from such terror.