Crime and Security

UN urges Nigeria to protect aid workers in conflict areas

UN urges Nigeria to protect aid workers conflict areas

The United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has called on the Nigerian government and the insurgents in the North-East to respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Kallon made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja in which he said that the IHL should be respected in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, independence and impartiality.

The coordinator who was reacting to the killing of a humanitarian worker in Borno, called on the authorities to ensure the protection of aid workers while perpetrators of the crime should be brought to justice.

It would be recalled that on the July 18, Boko Haram fighters ambushed an aid convoy in Damasak area of Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno.

The fighters killed one driver and abducted six aid workers including one Action Against Hunger staff.

“I am appalled and deeply saddened by the news of the horrific execution of an aid worker.

“My most heartfelt condolences go to his family, friends and colleagues.

“The United Nations call on authorities to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice,’’ Kallon said in the statement issued by Ms Eve Sabbagh, the Head of Public Information, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).

The UN also called for the immediate release of all aid workers who are still in captivity.

“I am also extremely concerned about the increasingly dangerous and restrictive operating environment for implementing humanitarian assistance in crisis-affected areas,” he said.

According to Kallon, humanitarian aid workers continue to face challenges in crisis-affected areas as they strive to deliver urgent, life-saving assistance.

“The humanitarian community in Nigeria is working in line with the 2019 – 2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy.

“The strategy was jointly agreed with the Government of Nigeria to provide life-saving assistance to 6.2 million of the most vulnerable people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states,’’ the UN humanitarian coordinator said.

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