ICRC Expresses Concern Over Rise in Missing Persons

International committee of the red cross
International committee of the red cross

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed concern over the continued rise of missing persons in Africa especially Nigeria due to armed conflicts.

Mr.Leonard Blazeby, Head of Programs and prevention of the ICRC made the observation known at a ceremony in commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared organized for the families and relatives of the missing persons by the Committee (ICRC) in Yola, Adamawa state capital on Tuesday.

Blazeby said the ceremony was set aside by the United Nations to remind the people and governments of the traumatic conditions being experienced by the loved ones of missing or disappeared persons as a result of natural or human circumstances.

Blazeby stated that in Nigeria alone,25,000 cases of missing persons have been reported while in Africa as a continent 64,000 cases of disappeared persons have been reported noting that 14,000 representing 50% of the reported cases are that of missing children.

[quotation] “Sadly the almost 14,000 children registered doesn’t capture the full scope of this often-neglected and tragic humanitarian issue. There is no doubt that there are more children whose fate remains unknown.

“In 2022 from January-June, the ICRC together with the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) assisted in the exchange of 1,250 Red Cross messages containing family news and reunited 31 separated children/unaccompanied minors with their families.

“377 persons received information about the whereabouts or fate of their loved ones and 146 families of missing persons received psychosocial, economic, legal and administrative support through the Accomplishment program for families of the missing”.[/quotation]

In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Adamawa state, Chief Crowther Seth thanked ICRC for drawing attention to the plight of families and relations of the missing persons.

Seth who was represented by the Adamawa state Head of Civil Service (HOS), Dr. Edgar Amos said that no doubt the families have been subjected to psychological trauma, economic dislocation, and uncertainty.

He noted that the government will continue to cooperate with international agencies and donor agencies to support the families of the missing persons even though he thanked ICRC for supporting the families of the missing persons with skills and vocational training.

Most of the families and relatives of the missing persons interviewed at the occasion expressed gratitude to ICRC and for their support calling on both federal and state governments to do more in alleviating their sufferings.

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