Health Care

UN Coordinator Demands Explanation From Nigeria Over Illegal Search Of Humanitarian Base

UN Coordinator Demands Explanation From Nigeria Over Illegal Search Of Humanitarian Base

"Members of the Nigerian security forces entered a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri. without authorization", said Samantha Newport, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

But the United Nations, in a statement said its Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, stated that the search was without authorisation.

A statement signed by Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya in Abuja yesterday, said on August 7, 2017, the Nigerian Air Force Component of Operation Lafiya Dole conducted an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission over Parisu in Sambisa general area.

United Nations and more than 50 non-governmental humanitarian organisations are working in support of the Government of Nigeria to provide aid, including food, safe water and medicine, to some 6.9 million people in need in the northeast.

The Army Chief, who said he had gone round the council areas including Bama, which is most affected by the Boko Haram Crises, said, he was surprised that the IDPs were still in camps even with the fact that the military have cleared and liberated some of the affected areas.

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He cautioned that such actions could be detrimental to the critical work being carried out on a daily basis to support the vulnerable in the region and called on the Federal Government to promptly provide clarifications on the matter. The statement quoted Mr. Kallon as expressing grave concern over the unauthorized search on the facility used as a base for United Nations humanitarian workers.

"It, therefore, became expedient to take preemptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operation".

"In the last one week, cordon and search operations were conducted in Jiddari-Polo, Muna Garage, and Jakana amongst several other areas".

Borno State and other parts of the north east have recently witnessed attacks and suicide bombings by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

"One of such included a property, which was said to be occupied by the United Nations staff members, although the property did not carry a UN designation".

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The security forces added they had not targeted the property and the operation was successfully concluded.

Dispelling claims by soldiers that they acted on information from the SSS that arms were lodged in the building, the source said, "We all know there was nothing like that because the containers that they were referring to were building materials which the United Nations is using to upgrade or build some structures sitting the acquired property".

He warned against peddling of rumours that could cause disaffection among the various ethnic and religious groups of people in the state.

News of the raid came as Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched a long-planned presidential panel to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the military.

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