THE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will meet with relevant stakeholders over the cases of more than 25000 Nigerians who are missing due to insecurity in the country.
The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, January 24, will be co-hosted by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
This was disclosed in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the ICRC in Abuja, Aliyu Dawobe, on Monday, January 23.
“The meeting seeks to raise awareness, establish collaborative networks, develop methods towards solutions, build avenues for engagement, as well as discuss priorities and an action plan to support families of the missing.
“Stakeholders from across the country will attend, including ministries, agencies, civil society, and representatives from families of the missing,” the statement read.
Dawobe noted in the statement that there were possibly more missing people than the figure quoted, adding that 90 per cent of the missing persons were connected to the crises in the Northeastern region of the country.
“In 2022, together with the Nigerian Red Cross Society, the ICRC helped exchange 4319 ‘Red Cross messages’ and facilitate 812 phone calls between separated family members.
“We facilitated 14 family reunions and provided psychosocial, economic, legal, and administrative support to 156 people affected by missing loved ones. This is the support we provide for communities in Nigeria, as we do around the world,” Dawobe noted.
In 2022, the ICRC disclosed that at least 25,000 Nigerians were missing due to insecurity in the country. Out of this figure, 14000 are children.
For over a decade, the North-East region, especially Borno State, has struggled with insecurity due to the activities of insurgents, leading to the displacement of up to three million people.
In 2019, The ICIR documented the stories of Borno indigenes whose relatives went missing as a result of the crisis. A year after the report, the Nigerian government launched a register to raise awareness on missing persons in the country.