The Federal Government of Nigeria has received a slam from the global watchdog Human Right Watch over its unacceptable appearance on the kidnapping of 300 children from Damasak, Borno State.
This was released in a press statement on Tuesday, the organisation appealed to the government to come up with measures that will facilitate the release of about 400 women and children, including at least 300 elementary school students, abducted by Boko Haram from the town of Damasak in Borno State a year ago”.
“Damasak is the largest documented school abduction by Boko Haram militants. Yet, it has drawn far less public attention than the group’s widely condemned abduction of 276 schoolgirls from a government secondary school in Chibok in April 2014. While 57 of those girls managed to escape, 219 remain captive almost two years later,” the statement added.
The group said that the children have been missing for a year, and yet there has been no word from the Nigerian government, according to Mausi Segun, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“The authorities need to wake up and find out where the Damasak children and other captives are and take urgent steps to free them,” he added.
On November 24, 2014, Boko Haram attacked Damasak, a trading town about 200 kilometers northwest of Maiduguri, near the border with Niger, blocking all four roads leading into the town and trapping residents and traders.
The insurgents quickly occupied Zanna Mobarti Primary School, shutting the gates and locking more than 300 students, ages 7 to 17, inside, according to a teacher at the school and other witnesses that Human Rights Watch interviewed.
Six witnesses, now in Maiduguri and whose children or other relatives were among those abducted, told Human Rights Watch that none had been returned.
Some parents have received information from Nigerian refugees in Chad that their children were seen with Boko Haram in Mari and Dogon Chikum, near the Nigerian border with Chad, though Human Rights Watch could not independently confirm this information.
“There is no one you can go and cry to since the military has not gone to attack those places,” said one man who had lost relatives.