Edward Kallon, resident/humanitarian coordinator of the United Nations in Nigeria, has condemned an attack by Boko Haram insurgents in Damasak, Borno state.
According to Kallon, the attack which occurred on July 2, led to the death of two people, including a five-year-old, while several others sustained injuries.
He added that a UN humanitarian chopper was hit by bullets, leading to serious damage, and called on the government to ensure that the incident is investigated.
“I am gravely concerned by reports of another violent attack by non-state armed groups in Damasak,
Borno State, on 2 July, in which at least two innocent civilians lost their lives, including a five-year old child. Several others were injured, and a humanitarian helicopter was hit, sustaining serious damage,” the statement read.
“I extend my sincere condolences to the families of the civilians who lost their lives in the attack and wish a prompt recovery to those injured.
“I welcome the Government commitment to investigate the attack and swiftly bring to justice the perpetrators.
“I deplore that a UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack. No aid workers were on board at the time and crew members are all safe. My thoughts are also with the crew and I commend them for piloting the chopper back to safety during this critical situation.”
Kallon expressed concern that the attack in Borno, and damage to the helicopter, will negatively affect the provision of aid to vulnerable people in remote areas across the state.
He called for urgent action to ensure safety of residents and aid workers.
“I strongly condemn any attack against civilians, humanitarian assets or aid workers and call 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.
“I furthermore call on all parties to allow and facilitate safe and unimpeded access for humanitarians to deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people in the north-east.
“Insecurity and violent attacks continue to hamper the ability of people to access basic services or livelihoods and recover from the protracted crisis in north-east Nigeria.” - TheCable