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Promoting Good Governance.

AI asks FG to investigate death of five Dapchi schoolgirls

NIGERIA-SECURITY/

Amnesty International (AI) has asked the Federal Government to investigate the security failures that led to the abduction of 110 Dapchi schoolgirls, and the death of five of them, by Boko Haram.

It also called for the immediate release of all abductees, including the Chibok schoolgirls, still being held by Boko Haram.

It demanded the “unconditional release” of the remaining Chibok schoolgirls, and an end to abductions of civilians by insurgents.

The Federal Government, through Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, had said the number of the rescued girls was 105.

A total of 110 girls were originally abducted by the insurgents on February 19, and five of them were said to have died while in custody. Also, one of them was said to have been held back because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

Osai Ojigho, Nigeria’s Director of AI, described the return of the Dapchi girls as a “huge relief” especially for the girls and their families, but added that “despite this positive development, four girls from Dapchi are still being held by Boko Haram”.

“Boko Haram must immediately release these girls and all other abductees – including some of the Chibok girls – and end the spate of abductions of civilians, which amount to war crimes,” Ojigho said.

“Moreover, the 101 [it was later updated to 105] released girls are currently being held in the government’s custody, further prolonging their ordeal.

“The authorities must immediately release them, and ensure that they are able to return to their families or be provided with an alternative safe option if they so-choose.

“The authorities must also ensure the girls have access to comprehensive support, including confidential counselling and medical care.”

Ojigho called for an investigation into “the security failures that lead to the abduction” and consequently, to the the death of five of the girls in captivity.

Similarly, AI asked the Federal Government to make public the results of the two investigations into the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in April 2014, in order to ensure adequate protection of all schools in northeast Nigeria.

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