In SummaryMass kidnappings in the West African nation will force over 1 million school aged children to miss school due to safety concerns.
A new school year brings new threats for Nigerian children as a rise in mass school kidnappings have hit the country, resulting in 1 million kids not attending school this year, according to CNN.
Larger armed groups, such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province, have targeted schools for mass abduction in northern Nigeria in the past, but smaller, local gangs have started abducting children, per reports.
“Learners are being cut off from their education… as families and communities remain fearful of sending children back to their classrooms due to the spate of school attacks and student abductions in Nigeria,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
According to CNN, over 1,400 kids have been abducted in Nigeria this year so far, with 16 dead. There have been 20 attacks against schools.
UNICEF says 37 million kids in Nigeria will start school this month.