12th April, 2021
Boko Haram gunmen have attacked several global humanitarian facilities in Damasak, Borno state, including the one being run by the UN.
Four persons, including two soldiers were killed in the attack at the weekend.
Among the facilities hit was that of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
According to its country director Eric Batonon, compounds belonging to multiple relief agencies and warehouses containing humanitarian stock were looted and set on fire.
Batonon’s statement read: “This is the second attack targeting humanitarians in the past two months in northeast Nigeria, and the fourth attack on Damasak town and its surrounding area this year”, he said.
“Yesterday’s brutal attack jeopardized our work and threatened the lives of many aid workers. Thankfully our five staff staying in Damasak town escaped unharmed.
“However, the perpetrators succeeded in setting our guesthouse ablaze and destroying lifesaving relief supplies, including vehicles used to deliver aid.
“We condemn these acts of senseless violence. They serve to terrorise humanitarians and the communities we are here to help, and they delay critical aid from reaching families in dire need. Humanitarian space is shrinking in northeast Nigeria, and we call on the Government of Nigeria to ensure it is protected.”
The humanitarian coordinator and head of the UN mission in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, also expressed deep concern about the recurrent reports of violent attacks by non-state armed groups putting the lives of civilians at risk.
He also condemned the attack on humanitarian aid operations and facilities, which are the “lifeline for people affected by violence and conflict in northeast Nigeria who are dependent on assistance to survive”.
Kallon said humanitarian operations in Damasak have been reduced due to the violent attack.
He said the support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community receiving humanitarian assistance and protection there has been halted.