Xingwana calls for return of kidnapped girls

2014-05-09 13:31
(Photo: file, AFP)

(Photo: file, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana on Friday called for the safe return of the over 200 girls recently kidnapped in Nigeria.

She said in a statement: "We call on their captors not to allow any harm to befall the children and to hand over the girls to authorities so that they can be safely reunited with their families."

The schoolgirls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok in north-eastern Borno state by Islamic militant group Boko Haram on 14 April.

Another eight girls were kidnapped by the group on Tuesday.


"Our prayers and thoughts are with the people of Nigeria, especially the families of the schoolgirls, during this difficult time," said Xingwana.

She urged the Nigerian government and the international community to double efforts to secure the safe release of the girls.

"The kidnapping of the schoolgirls is a serious human rights violation and a crime against humanity," she said.

"It violates the rights of women and the girls, who are in most cases the biggest victims in conflict situations."

Xingwana also sent a message of support to her Nigerian counterpart Hajiya Zainab Maina and to the families of the abducted schoolgirls.

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