Jacob Zuma condemns Nigeria kidnapping, calls for stronger AU

2014-05-19 12:35

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President Jacob Zuma has expressed concern about the kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria.

“The government and the people of SA condemn in the strongest terms the abduction of school children in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the armed group Boko Haram and calls on the kidnappers to release the children without further delay,” Zuma said today.

About 230 schoolgirls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno State on April 14. Militant group Boko Haram have claimed responsibility for the act.

Zuma also denounced the bombing in Kenya, which resulted in the death of 10 people and the wounding of 70 people on Friday.

Zuma said targeting unarmed civilians was deplorable.

He said the African Union (AU) needed to urgently activate its peace and security structure to end the activities of armed groupings responsible for attacks on civilians.

He called on the AU to ensure peace and stability on the continent.

“It is crucial to build a stronger and a well resourced AU to take forward the promotion of peace, security, and the socioeconomic advancement of the continent,” he said.

These worrying developments threatened to undermine progress made by the continent on economic and other fronts.

“Part of the capacity needed by the AU is the establishment of the African Standby Force for rapid deployment in crisis areas without delays,” he said.

He called on the people of the Central African Republic (CAR) to work towards peace in their country.

“The people of the CAR have endured enough strife and conflict. We urge all leaders in the CAR to unite the people behind a common vision of peaceful coexistence and national unity,” Zuma said.

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