March 1, 2021

AFP: By targeting schools, Nigerian kidnappers put country at risk

February 27th, 2021


Camille Malplat, journalist with the AFP, interviewed Yan St-Pierre on the abduction of more than 300 schoolgirls, who were snatched from dormitories by gunmen in the middle of the night in northwestern Zamfara state.

“When kidnappers see they are not being sanctioned, that they are given amnesty in a grand ceremony, it becomes a good opportunity for them,” said Yan St-Pierre, consultant with the Berlin-based Modern Security Consulting Group. He referred to the case of a gang leader behind the kidnapping of more than 300 schoolboys in northwestern Katsina state in December. He gave himself up, with officials saying they had struck an amnesty deal and denying a ransom was paid. But “whatever the government says”, St-Pierre argued, “ransoms are paid, whether it is by families of victims or the authorities. The government wants to avoid a second Chibok and so they do everything they can to facilitate the release of those kidnapped.”

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