Insecurity: Nigeria records highest missing persons in Africa – ICRC

With 25,000 missing persons, Nigeria has the highest missing persons in Africa, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has disclosed.

The number is part of the 64,000 missing persons in Africa mostly on account from violent conflict and political instability in the region.

The figures are contained in a fact sheet distributed on Tuesday in Yola by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which hosted this year’s marking of International Day of the Disappeared in the Adamawa State capital.

In the event attended by families of the disappeared, the ICRC said the majority of Nigeria’s 25,000 victims are children, being about 14,000.

Giving a hint on how the whereabouts of the 64,000 Africans became unknown, the ICRC said, “There are over 35 active armed conflicts in Africa today. Thousands of people cross borders, the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea go off in search of safety and a better life each year. Such movements often entails great risks, including the risk of disappearance.”

Given more insights during the Yola event to mark the International Day of the Disappeared on Tuesday, the Head of Programmes and Prevention of ICRC, Leonard Blazeby, said the number of people disappearing across Africa continues to rise, but that his organisation which had been executing programmes to mitigate the issue, would continue to do so.

Also speaking on the occasion which was held at the Aliyu Mustapha Academy Hall in Jimeta, the Adamawa State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Developmemt, Mrs Lami Gada, empathized with family members enduring the trauma of missing persons.

“Missing a loved one is a fate you would not wish for anyone. It is better to see a dead body and bury it than to have to wait probably all your life for a missing relative,” the government official said.

Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Chief Crowther Seth who was represented by the state Head of the Civil Service, Dr Amos Edgar, said it is shocking to note that as many as 25,000 Nigerians are missing.

He said the government is aware of the pain of family members dealing with the issue of missing loved ones and has been investing heavily to enhance security and prevent situations that lead to people disappearing.

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