Nigeria: Abduction

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 23rd September 2021.

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Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to support their Nigerian counterparts in locating and rescuing (a) Leah Sharibu and (b) other abducted girls in Nigeria.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are deeply concerned by the abduction and continued captivity of children by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) in North East Nigeria. Leah Sharibu, who was abducted by ISWA in 2018, and a number of the Chibok schoolgirls, abducted by Boko Haram in 2014, are among those still missing. We continue to raise these cases with the Government of Nigeria, most recently in June. The Nigerian Government has provided assurances it is doing all it can to secure the release of all those kidnapped.

We have provided mentoring and capacity building support to Nigerian Police Force units to improve their anti-kidnap capacity, to help reduce harm to victims and to hold those responsible to account. We are also providing a comprehensive package of support to Nigeria to help tackle the terrorist threat in the North East. My [Minister Ford] predecessor visited Nigeria in April where he discussed insecurity, including kidnaps, with the Foreign Minister and the President's Chief of Staff, and raised the importance of protecting all communities. He also discussed the impact insecurity has on education with the Nigerian Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Education in July in the margins of the Global Education Summit.

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