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Urgent Call for Action: 23,000 Persons Missing amid Crises in Nigeria’s North East

Amnesty International (AI) and the Allamin Foundation have revealed a troubling statistic: over 23,000 individuals have vanished in the midst of the 14-year conflict in Nigeria’s North East. They have called on Nigerian authorities to scrutinize every case of these missing persons, with a specific focus on those who have suffered enforced disappearances due to the insurgency.

Isa Sanusi, the Country Director of AI, made this startling revelation in Maiduguri on the occasion of the 2023 International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances (IDVED). “Our mission is to escalate our campaign against the government’s evident indifference towards the fate of victims of enforced disappearances in the region,” he declared.

Sanusi highlighted that the observance of the day was a part of an ongoing global solidarity movement and campaign for victims of enforced disappearance, both within Nigeria and worldwide.

He expressed deep concern over the Allamin Foundation’s tally of over 23,000 missing persons in the region. Furthermore, AI believes that the actual number of enforced disappearances and missing individuals may be significantly higher and is urging Nigerian authorities to fully implement the convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance.

In addition to enforcing the law, Sanusi urged the Federal Government to undertake comprehensive investigations of enforced disappearances and prosecute suspects according to international standards.

Sanusi also addressed the plight of the families of the missing persons, stating, “Nigerian authorities should also offer effective protection to those who have reported their missing persons and enforced disappearances, the families of the disappeared, witnesses, and their legal representatives.”

During the commemoration organized by Allamin Foundation, representatives of civil society organisations and community leaders, where these persons went missing between 2010 and 2022, expressed their sorrow over the loss of their family members. They stated that despite numerous visits to the detention center at Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri and other security agencies, none of the missing persons have been located.

SOURCE: The Guardian

IMAGE: Northeast Star Magazine

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