UN to Terrorists: Stop Attacks on Humanitarian Assets
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon has condemned multiple attacks Thursday on Damasak town and a humanitarian helicopter in Borno.
The non-state armed group’s attacks also claimed the lives of two civilians, including a five-year old child.
In a statement in Maiduguri, Kallon disclosed that
“Several others were also injured and a humanitarian helicopter was hit; sustaining serious damage, while aid workers were delivering humanitarian assistance to Damasak.”
“I deplore that a UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack.”
According to him, no aid workers were on board at the time and the crew members were safe after the pilot returned to Maiduguri airport.
He therefore, commended the chopper pilot and crew members for returning to base safely during the critical situation.
I call on the Nigerian authorities to reinforce the safety and security of all humanitarian workers,he said.
Kallon also extended condolences to the families of civilians who lost their lives in the attack and wish them a prompt recovery.
He welcomed Government’s commitment to investigate the attack and swiftly bring to justice the perpetrators.
While lamenting incessant attacks, he said: “I deplore that a UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack.
“The attack and damage to helicopter severely affects the ability of aid actors to provide urgently needed assistance to vulnerable people in remote areas in Borno state.
“UN Humanitarian Air Service is essential to evacuate wounded civilians and remains the backbone to facilitating humanitarian access,” noting that this will enable UN agencies and non-governmental
organizations to safely and securely reach the most vulnerable populations.
Continued; “I strongly condemn any attack against civilians, humanitarian assets or aid workers.
“I called on all armed parties to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property and personnel.”
He said these will allow and facilitate safe and unimpeded access for humanitarians to deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable
According to him, UNHAS has transported 66,271 passengers and 147 megatons of humanitarian assistance in 2019, as well as conducted 30
medical and 70 security evacuations.
Meanwhile, the UN agencies are working to bring life-saving assistance to 7.8 million people in insurgency affected states of Borno, Adamawa
and Yobe states.
“Many of them are living in remote areas of northeast,” he said; urging Nigerian authorities to reinforce the safety and security of all humanitarian workers. many of them in remote areas.