Tuesday 17 October 2017

Gordon Brown renews plea for release of Nigerian schoolgirls

The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau (with papers) in a video grab taken in July (Photo: Getty)
The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau (with papers) in a video grab taken in July (Photo: Getty)
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Lisa Anderson

United Nations envoy Gordon Brown urged the militant group Boko Haram to free the more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls it has held for 10 months.

His appeal came after the reported release this week of women and girls kidnapped by the Islamist group in December.

"Now they have released some hostages, they should release them all," said the former British prime minister.

He referred to 158 women and girls who local media said were released by the militants on Thursday after being taken during a raid on the village of Katarko.

The abduction of scores of schoolgirls from a government secondary school in the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria on April 14, 2014 sparked global outrage and offers of international assistance and a worldwide social media campaign with the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Read More: 'Send SAS in to rescue kidnapped Nigerian girls', says former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown

But the location of the schoolgirls, most of whom are believed to be between the ages of 16 and 18, remains unknown.

"Boko Haram are piling cruelty upon cruelty by failing to free the girls," said Brown, who is the U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education.

He said there would be no let up in the campaign to find and free the girls.

Independent News Service

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