…As 4 UN peacekeepers killed in central Mali***
The United Nations on Wednesday condemned the abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State by Boko Haram insurgents, calling for their “immediate and unconditional release.”
The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, in a statement by his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said the UN would support the Federal Government to fight terrorism and violent extremism.
The UN Secretary-General said the Federal Government must bring those responsible for the abduction to book and ensure the safe return of the schoolgirls to their families.
The statement read in part, “The United Nations Secretary-General has denounced the abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls by suspected Boko Haram insurgents during an attack on an educational institution in north-eastern Nigeria and called for their safe return to their families.
“The Secretary-General calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all the missing girls. The UN chief also urged Nigerian authorities to swiftly bring those responsible for the act to justice.
“Guterres reiterated UN’s solidarity and support to the governments of Nigeria and other affected countries in the region in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism.”
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, has directed the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; and the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, to relocate to the North-East.
The presidency disclosed this on Wednesday in a series of messages posted on its Twitter handle, @NGRPresident.
According to the message, the two security chiefs were asked to liaise with the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole as well as governors of the affected states to ensure deployment of personnel to all schools in the liberated areas in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states.
Meanwhile, four U.N. peacekeepers from Bangladesh were killed in central Mali Wednesday after their vehicle hit an explosive device and four others were seriously injured, the United Nationssaid Wednesday.
Mali mission chief Mahamat Saleh Annadif said the peacekeepers hit the device along the Boni-Douentza road in the Mopti region.
He said six Malian soldiers were also killed in a similar manner Tuesday in the Segou region.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the attack against the Bangladeshis and reiterated that attacks targeting U.N. peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Guterres demanded that the perpetrators be apprehended and prosecuted, he said.
The more than 11,000-strong mission in Mali has become the most dangerous in the world for U.N. peacekeepers, which are routinely attacked by Islamic militants. The threat of groups related to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group continues to spread through Mali.
Annadif said the Mali mission is strengthening its security systems in central Mali.
Guterres said the “cowardly acts” that killed the Bangladeshi and Malian soldiers will not deter the U.N. mission’s “determination to support the Malian authorities in their efforts to protect civilians and accompany the Malian people in their quest for peace and stability,” Dujarric said.
Punch with additional report from ABC