The United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has condemned the attack by non-state armed groups on the main humanitarian accommodation in Ngala, Borno State.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by Head of Public Information, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), Ms Eve Sabbagh, the coordinator said: “I am outraged by the extremely violent attack on this key humanitarian facility where five United Nations workers were staying at the time of the incident.
“On the evening of Saturday, January 18, 2020, the humanitarian hub in Ngala was the direct target of a complex assault by heavily armed non-state armed groups.
“An entire section of the facility was burnt down as well as one of the few vehicles UN agencies rely on for movement and aid delivery.
“Protective security measures deployed at the humanitarian hub prevented any harm to the worker in the facility.
“I am shocked by the violence and intensity of this attack, which is the latest of too many incidents directly targeting humanitarian actors and the assistance we provide. I am relieved all workers are now safe and secure.”
He added that aid workers were providing assistance to more than 55,000 people in Ngala, near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.
According to him, in 2019, over 10,000 people arrived in Ngala, searching for security and basic services.
Kallon said humanitarian hubs in Borno State were critical to the humanitarian response.
The coordinator said they provide operating environments for aid workers in remote locations where some of the most vulnerable people live or have sought refuge.
“Such incidents have a disastrous effect on the lives of the most vulnerable people who depend on our assistance to survive.
“Many of them had already fled violence in their area of origin and were hoping to find safety and assistance in Ngala.
“This also jeopardises the ability for aid workers to stay and deliver assistance to the people most in need in remote areas in Borno State,” the statement quoted Kallon as saying.
Kallon urged all parties to the conflict to respect the principles of humanity, neutrality, independence and impartiality, which guide the assistance the humanitarian community delivers in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
He added that the UN and non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners in Nigeria were working to bring vital assistance to over 7 million people in the crisis-ridden Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
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