…26, 000 killed in the Northeast Nigeria
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon on Friday said global conflicts and violence have caused the displacement of 65 million people, just as he informed that over 26,000 people have been killed in Northeast Nigeria.
Kallon disclosed this in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital at a courtesy visit to Gov. Kashim Shettima to mark World Humanitarian Day (WHD) at the Government House.
The WHD he said was set aside by the United Nations to express solidarity with people affected by humanitarian crises and pay tribute to workers that helped victims of conflict and violence.
His words: “This year’s commemoration marks the 15th Anniversary since the attack on the United Nations in Baghdad, Iraq in which 22 of our colleagues were killed.
“Since that tragedy, which led to this day’s designation as WHD; over 4,000 humanitarians aid workers have been killed, injured, detained or kidnapped.”
He noted that global conflicts, including Boko Haram insurgency in
Northeast Nigeria kills an average of 300 people each year, adding that, “Globally, conflicts are forcing record numbers of people from their homes, with the displacement of over 65 million.
“Children are recruited by armed groups and used to fight, while women are also abused and humiliated.”
Mr. Kallon regretted that in as much as humanitarian workers deliver aid , medical supplies and sucor for those in need, they are however; either targeted or treated as threats.
He said in Northeast region, civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict that leding to widespread forced displacement, abuse and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law including sexual and gender-based violence on a daily basis.
Mr. Kallon also condemned the abduction of thousands of women and girls just as children continue to be used on regular basis as so called “suicide” bombers.
Continuing, he added: “Thousands of families have been forced to flee their villages and communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
“Aid and medical workers, who care for people affected by the violence, suffer the consequences of insecurity.”
Speaking on conflict’s abduction and death tolls, Kallon said: “Three aid workers were killed and three abducted in March this year in Rann; an aid worker was killed in Ngala in May. A member of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was killed in Damasak just last week.”
While condemning the killings and abduction of aid workers, he urged the parties to the conflict to enable the work of humanitarian workers free from undue threats and loss of lives.
According to him, “This will facilitate their access to people in need, and in line with International Humanitarian Law”.
The UN chief called on the immediate and unconditional release of the aid workers, who have been abducted.
“I call on Nigerian leaders to do everything in their power to protect the people caught up in conflict,” adding that those who are concerned are to join the UN at worldhumanitarianday.org to show that civilians are #NotATarget.
“Together, we stand with the Government of Nigeria, in solidarity with civilians in conflict, and with the humanitarian workers who risk their lives to help them”, he said.
Governor Kashim Shettima in a short remark said that 1.5 million people have been displaced due to the Boko Haram crisis in the last nine years.
Governor Shettima also informed that out of the figure of the displaced people , 164,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned to their liberated communities in Mobbar, Dikwa, Gwoza, Ngala, Konduga, Bama, Damboa, Mafa and Askira/Uba councils.
He however regretted that Abadam and Marte council areas are not secured enough for IDPs return to their communities because they are still vulnerable to Boko elements that were recently pushed by the military drom the Lake Chad Basin.
Governor Shettima was however optimistic that the situation will be better soon.