The United Nations, on Monday, condemned attacks on its facilities in the North-East.
The body had earlier on Thursday expressed fears over the growing insecurity in the area. The UN spoke just it was reported that some of its workers in some Borno towns had been recalled to the state capital, Maiduguri.
A statement on Monday by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, condemned, particularly, Saturday’s attack by Boko Haram on its hub in Ngala, a Nigerian border town near Cameroon.
The statement read, “I am outraged by the extremely violent attack on this key humanitarian facility where five United Nations workers were staying at the time of the incident.
“On the evening of Saturday, January 18, the humanitarian hub in Ngala was the direct target of a complex assault by heavily armed non-state group operatives. An entire section of the facility was burnt down as well as one of the few vehicles UN agencies rely on for movement and aid delivery. Protective security measures deployed in the humanitarian hub prevented any harm to the staff in the facility.
“I am shocked by the violence and intensity of this attack, which is the latest of too many incidents directly targeting humanitarian actors and the assistance we provide.
“Such incidents have disastrous effect on the lives of the most vulnerable people that depend on our assistance to survive. Many of them had already fled violence in their area of origin and were hoping to find safety and assistance in Ngala. This also jeopardises the ability of aid workers to stay and deliver assistance to the people in the remote areas in Borno State.”
He called on “all parties to the conflict to respect the principles of humanity, neutrality, independence and impartiality that guide the assistance the humanitarian community delivers in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.”
It stated that two aid workers were still in captivity, namely the ACF staff member, Grace Taku, abducted near Damasak in July 2019; and Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother, kidnapped during an attack on Rann in March 2018.
It described attacks on UN facilities and workers as disastrous “on the lives of the most vulnerable people who depend on our assistance to survive.”
The statement added, “Many of them had already fled violence in their area of origin and were hoping to find safety and assistance in Ngala. This also jeopardizes the ability of aid workers to stay and deliver assistance to the people most in need in remote areas in Borno State.
“I call on all parties to the conflict to respect the principles of humanity, neutrality, independence and impartiality that guide the assistance the humanitarian community delivers in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.”
Similarly, a coalition of non-governmental organisations, under the aegis of International Non-Governmental Organisations, in Nigeria condemned the Saturday attack.
In a tweet on its verifiable twitter account, @INGOforum_ng, the group condemned the attack on Ngala that targeted humanitarian facilities.
It called on parties to the conflict to stop the attacks and respect international humanitarian laws.
The tweet read, “We remind all armed actors of their obligation to ensure the protection and safety of civilians, including aid workers. The increasing insecurity and the lack of adherence to international humanitarian law is putting at risk the delivery of life-saving assistance to over seven million people in need in the most affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.”