The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has condemned the attack by Boko Haram militants on humanitarian aid workers in Damasak town of Borno State.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how Boko Haram fighters invaded Damasak town on Saturday, burning United Nations facilities and forcing humanitarian workers to flee for their lives.
It was gathered that the terrorists, aided by their deadlier Islamic State West African Province fighters, burnt the UN office and at least three other international charity organisations contiguous to the UN facility.
Reacting to the development on Sunday, Kallon said the humanitarian operations in the town will be reduced due to the violent attack, noting that this will affect support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community receiving humanitarian assistance and protection.
He stressed that aid workers alongside their facilities and assets should never be a target of terrorist attacks.
Kallon called on armed parties to ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property, and personnel while urging donors and stakeholders to continue their life-saving and life-sustaining support to the 6.4 million displaced people in the North-East.
The statement read: “I am deeply concerned about recurrent reports of violent attacks by non-state armed groups putting the lives of civilians under risks. Last night and through the morning, a violent attack in Damasak town, in Borno State, was reported with three international aid partners’ facilities directly targeted, set ablaze, and sustained damage. I continue to be concerned about the safety and security of civilians and humanitarian workers.
“I strongly condemn the attack, as humanitarian aid operations and facilities are the lifelines for people affected by violence and conflict in northeast Nigeria who are dependent on assistance to survive.
“Humanitarian operations in Damasak will be reduced due to the violent attack, which will affect the support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community receiving humanitarian assistance and protection there.
“Civilians and aid workers, their facilities and assets should never be a target. They must always be protected and respected. I call on armed parties to observe and commit to international humanitarian law and human rights law and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property, and personnel.
“I also appeal to our generous donors and stakeholders for support in funding the nine humanitarian hubs and to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), as these are vital enablers of the humanitarian operations in northeast Nigeria. I also appeal to donors to urgently continue their support for the Humanitarian Response Plan for north-east Nigeria to provide lifesaving and life-sustaining support to some 6.4 million displaced people and host communities affected by the humanitarian crisis there.”
Meanwhile, a military source told SaharaReporters that non-governmental organisations have moved their facilities out of Damasak town on Sunday, a day after the attack.
He said, “I am very sad, the NGOs moved out of Damasak today. Every one of them left the town.”