Friday, February 24, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Press Release by the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN)

Press Release by the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN)


We express our deep concerns about the latest development in Southern Kaduna where our colleagues Professor Peter Breunig and Mr. Johannes Behringer were kidnapped on February 22nd during their annual archaeological fieldwork in Janjela. We are aware that Police and other security personnel have swung into action to secure the release of these two men. We urge all those involved to use all the professional resources at their disposal for the safe return of our colleagues to their families.


We are saddened that two brave members of the Janjela community (Anas Ibrahim and Adamu Abdulrahim) who intervened to abort the kidnap of the two men lost their  lives in the process. We praise these heroes and other members of Janjela community for their efforts. 


This latest kidnapping event is part of the ongoing security problem in Nigeria. This is mostly fueled by the social and economic displacement of a large number of the young people many of whom are unemployed. Many parts of Northern Nigeria have also been infiltrated by trans-border militants fingered in kidnappings, robberies and sundry criminal activities. At the 8th World Archaeological Congress held in Kyoto, the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN) representatives sponsored a resolution on the incessant violence by Boko Haram and other Armed Groups in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad. The Resolution highlighted the fact that 'the violence had made archaeological work difficult and dangerous in many parts of these countries. This latest incident underscores the fears expressed in the resolution and the need for the Nigerian Government to secure the country against armed criminal gangs. While we praise the recent efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria in degrading Boko Haram's criminal activities in northeast Nigeria, we urge the government to take more urgent steps in addressing the fundamental conditions in which criminal behavior and insecurity thrive. 


At this material time, we call upon the government to diligently work towards quick and safe release of Professor Peter Breunig and Mr. Johannes Behringer.


Professor Zacharys Anger Gundu.

President, AAN

24th February, 2017

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