Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL11516):
Question by Lord Alton of Livwerpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to establish what has happened to the students kidnapped by Boko Haram in Katsina on 11 December; what assistance they are giving to the government of Nigeria in securing the release of those students; what assessment they have made of (1) the statement by Abubakar Shekau claiming responsibility for the kidnappings, and (2) the impact of jihadist ideology on violence in northern Nigeria. (HL11516)
Tabled on: 16 December 2020
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
The UK Government was deeply concerned about the abduction of Nigerian schoolboys from their school in Kankara, Katsina State, North West Nigeria on 11 December. We welcome the news that they were released on 17 December. Following the attack, the Minister for Africa publicly stressed that schoolchildren need to be protected and subsequently welcomed their release. The UK Deputy National Security Advisor discussed the kidnap with the President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, on 15 December.
We are aware that Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. We are also aware that Boko Haram have previously claimed responsibility for attacks they have not directly conducted. For over a decade, terrorist groups, including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, have caused immense suffering to local communities, predominantly in North East Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad Basin region. We continue to monitor developments closely, and to support Nigeria to tackle the terrorist threat. We are also providing a comprehensive package of stabilisation and humanitarian assistance to support affected communities.
Date and time of answer: 29 Dec 2020 at 16:01.