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U.S. seeks punishment for kidnappers of school children

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[FILE] United States Representative to the United Nation, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Photo/TWITTER/LINDAT_G

The United States Representative to the United Nation, Linda Thomas-Greenfield has called on Nigerian authorities to hold people involved in act of kidnapping of school children accountable and have them punished for those acts.

She stated that schools should be places where children can go and learn, be happy and thrive.

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Thomas-Greenfield said this during a digital press briefing with journalists across Africa, stressing that it has become worrisome that the act continues to happen in Nigeria.

The former U.S Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said, “It’s something that we all have to work to address. And so as part of our work with Nigerian security services, it’s also to help them be more effective and efficient in providing that kind of support and security for all Nigerians, but particularly for young children and young girls who are trying to get educated.”

On alleged human rights abuses by Nigerian military and security agencies battling armed conflict groups like Boko Haram, bandits and deadly herdsmen she said “we have called the government out when we have seen violations being committed, but we also, at the same time, try to provide assistance, train and equip law enforcement and other professionals to address some of these issues to address shortcomings that they may have”.

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According to her, the organisation was looking at programs that focus on building capacity for the security services and providing support to the people.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said the United Nations relationships with Africa would henceforth reflect a partnership, which focuses on the needs of the people, values and opportunities to build capacity across the continent of Africa.

“We have to do it in consultation and support of the African people, and we do it for the African people. I would say that it worries me as I look at Africa’s relationship with China, for example, that is a relationship that sometimes rests on coerciveness, indebtedness and not in partnership. And I want our message to be completely the opposite of that”, she said.

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