UN laments upsurge in Boko Haram attacks, withdraws 260 aid workers
The United Nations on Wednesday expressed concern about the upsurge in Boko Haram attacks in the North-East.
The UN said since the recent resurgence in the attacks, about 260 aid workers had been withdrawn, lamenting that it had affected its humanitarian service delivery in the troubled region.
It also said that more than 30,000 people had arrived in Maiduguri from Baga following the Boko Haram’s attack on the town.
A statement by the spokesperson for the UN in Nigeria, Samantha Newport, on Wednesday, said the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, expressed grave concern following an upsurge in violence in the country’s North-East region that had caused tens of thousands of innocent civilians to flee their homes.
The statement read in part, “Clashes on December 26, 2018, between Nigerian government forces and non-state armed groups in Baga town, on the shores of Lake Chad, about 200 kilometres north of state capital Maiduguri, triggered the massive displacement, with most women, men and children converging on already congested camps for internally displaced people in Maiduguri or Monguno town.
“A subsequent attempted attack on Monguno on December 28, 2018, has exacerbated the situation, generating further displacement.”
Newport, quoting Kallon, who was said to have visited Monguno and Teachers’ Village camp for internally displaced people in Maiduguri, said, “The impact of the recent fighting on innocent civilians is devastating and has created a humanitarian tragedy.”
“It is heart-wrenching to see so many of these people living in congested camps, or sleeping outside with no shelter. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and the United Nations is extremely concerned about the impact that violence in north-east Nigeria, especially in Borno State, is having on civilians.”
The statement said that than “30,000 internally displaced people have arrived in Maiduguri, mainly from Baga, in recent weeks. The majority of these people have arrived since December 20, 2018, often after arduous journeys with young children. These people include an estimated 20,000 internally displaced people who have arrived in Teachers Village camp in Maiduguri, stretching the camp’s capacity beyond the limit.
“Some 260 aid workers have been withdrawn from three local government areas (Monguno, Kala/Balge and Kukawa) affected by the conflict since November, affecting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people.”