UN condemns killing of aid workers in Borno

Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of UN


Mr Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, on Friday, condemned the murder of three UN aid workers in an attack by armed men at Rann community of Kala Balge Local Government of Borno.

The condemnation followed confirmation by Samantha Newport, Head of Communication, UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) in a statement in Maiduguri on Friday that the three were killed on Thursday in an attack.

Samatha disclosed that two of the deceased aid workers were contractors with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) working as coordinators in the camp for 55,000 Internally Displaced Persons who fled their homes as a result of the ongoing insurgency in the area.

She said the third deceased aid worker was a medical doctor employed as third party consultant with UNICEF, adding that three other aid workers also sustained injuries in the attack, while a female nurse was missing or feared abducted.

Samantha added that the UN was concerned about other civilians who might have been injured or killed in the attack.

She noted that about 80,000 people, including 55,000 internally displaced persons were currently supported with humanitarian assistance in Rann.

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The UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Kallon, therefore, condemned the killing, stressing that “aid workers put their lives on the line every single day to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable women, children and men.

“Our deepest condolences go to the families of the victims and our brave colleagues and we call on authorities to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.’’

Kallon said about 7.7 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and 6.1 million targeted for humanitarian assistance due the most severe humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict in northeast and Lake Chad region.

“Now in its ninth year, the crisis shows no sign of abating,’’ he added.

He noted that the UN and non-governmental humanitarian organisations were working in the northeast to provide aid, including food, safe water and medicine to some 6.1 million people in need.

Some 3,000 aid workers are present in the northeast, majority of them were Nigerians, he said.