Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, has described the long term impact of the kidnap of school girls by members of the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria as a horrendous damage on girl-child education.
Dujarric stated this on Monday while hosting a group of ten African journalists who had visited his office as part of the African Journalist Security and Press Freedom Reporting Tour of Washington DC and New York organised by the U.S. Department of State.
“The impact of Boko Haram on the community is the long term horrendous damage that Boko Haram is doing. It is deterring all the gains that we have had on educating the girl-child,” he said.
Dujarric added that as a parent it would be understandable to him if some parents in the affected Northeastern region of Nigeria are now afraid of sending their daughters to school.
While commending the recent successes of the Nigerian military in rescuing the kidnapped children, Dujarric said the UN and it’s relevant agencies are working to ensure that the kidnapped girls return to school and are able to easily reintegrate back into the society.
While the military operation against Boko Haram continues, Dujarric said the UN is also closely monitoring in order to ensure that human rights are protected by all sides to the conflict.
“One of the things we have done in Nigeria and other places where governments are fighting terror is that we try to ensure that they respect human rights and international law; that people are not freed from terrorists and then get afraid of the people who freed them,” Dujarric said.