UN condemns ‘brutal and callous’ attack on civilians in north-east Nigeria

UN calls for reform of Nigeria’s security forces

Denouncing Sunday’s attack on civilians in Nigeria’s restive Borno state, a senior UN humanitarian official called on the authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

In early afternoon of 28 November, local time, armed men on motorcycles attacked civilian men and women while they were harvesting crops in Koshobe village and other rural communities in Jere Local Government Area, near provincial capital Maiduguri.

According to reports, at least 43 people were killed and many wounded.

“It is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year,” Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said in a statement.

“We have also received reports that several women may have been kidnapped. I call for their immediate release and return to safety,” he added.

Rural communities in the area are shocked by the brutality of the attack and fear for their safety.

“It is unfortunately, this is one of too many such attacks targeting farmers, fishermen and families who are trying to recover some livelihood opportunity after over a decade of conflict,” said Mr. Kallon.

The Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria has claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced millions from their homes. The violence, coupled with climate shocks, has also aggravated food security, leaving an estimated 10 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

Mr. Kallon noted that the entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno state are “outraged” by the incident.

“Such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardise the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing, and which we are striving to alleviate,” the UN official added, calling on all actors on the ground to “respect international laws and humanity”. (PANA/NAN)

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