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Ministers highlight plight of abducted Chibok school girls

Human rights, Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Sean Sherlock, Press Releases, Africa, 2015

Ministers highlight plight of abducted Chibok school girls

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and the Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion, and North South Co-Operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, have called for urgent action to rescue the Chibok school girls abducted by Boko Harem one year ago and urged the Multinational Joint Taskforce to defeat the terrorist group.

Speaking today, one year after Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, North Eastern Nigeria, Minister Flanagan said:

“The abduction of these girls one year ago was an outrageous act and failure to make every possible effort to rescue these girls will only embolden Boko Haram, a terrorist group with deplorable aims and an appalling record of kidnap and violence.

“Ireland stands with these girls, their families and their communities. We have not forgotten their plight. I once again urge the Government of Nigeria to commit the necessary resources to finding the girls and returning them to their families and their education. It is unacceptable that young girls should be deprived of their freedom and made to suffer in this way.

“And it is unacceptable that schools should face attack, as they have in Nigeria, in Pakistan, in Kenya and elsewhere over the past year. These are attacks on the fundamental elements of any free and just society.

“The recent success in pushing back Boko Haram from major towns in North Eastern Nigeria provides an opportunity to bring the conflict there to an end. It is critically important that the Multinational Joint Taskforce of troops from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin continues its efforts to protect innocent people and to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists.”

Minister Sherlock condemned the barbaric acts of Boko Haram across the region:

“The increasingly violent and indiscriminate attacks of Boko Haram have targeted civilians and caused displacement of half a million people within Nigeria, while hundreds of thousands had fled across the border to Cameroon.

“The fate of the Chibok girls is part of a humanitarian crisis in Northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“Ireland has recently contributed 87 tonnes of stocks worth €1 million to NGO partner, Plan, for Nigerian refugees fleeing Boko Haram and living in camps in northern Cameroon.”

ENDS
Press Office
14 April 2015

Notes to Editors

• Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. www.irishaid.ie

• Ireland has joined with our fellow EU Member States in congratulating the Nigerian people on the peaceful national elections held over the past two weeks.

• Ireland welcomes the commitment by President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to prioritise the ending of the conflict in the North East of the country.

• Ireland has also recently allocated a further €300,000 to Christian Aid and Action Aid for Internally Displaced People in Nigeria.