Nigeria: Aid Workers' Execution a Sad Moment for Humanitarian Community - UN

Photo: VOA News
Map of Nigeria showing the location of Bama and Maidiguri, in Borno State.
14 December 2019

The execution of four aid workers by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State was a sad moment for Nigeria and the humanitarian workers across the world, a United Nations official said on Saturday.

The executed men were amongst the six aid workers abducted by the terrorists on July 26 when their convoy was attacked near Damasak, Mobbar local government area of the state.

They were working on a health project implemented by the Action Against Hunger, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that helps malnourished children and provides communities with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger.

Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, in a statement expressed sadness at the aid workers' execution by the terrorists.

He said: "I am deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the tragic killing of four aid workers who were held captive by armed groups for almost five months.

"My thoughts go to their families, friends, and colleagues who are enduring unspeakable pain and hardship."

"I plead for the immediate release of Grace Taku, the only woman who was in the ACF team, and whose whereabouts remain unknown.

"I also call for the immediate release of Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother, who was abducted during an attack in Rann in March 2018.

"This is another sad day for the people of Nigeria and the humanitarian community supporting them.

"These colleagues were devoting their lives to helping the most vulnerable communities in Borno State. Despite the risks, they were driven by the values of solidarity and humanity."

"The United Nations and NGO partners in Nigeria are working to bring vital assistance to over seven million people in the crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.

"They are increasingly the target of violent attacks. Seven aid workers have been killed since the beginning of the year, amongst 26 UN and NGO workers having lost their lives in the conflict since 2011.

"Violence against humanitarian actors jeopardizes access to much-needed assistance for people affected by the armed conflict.

"I renew the call for all armed actors to respect the principles of humanity, neutrality, independence, and impartiality which guide humanitarian assistance, and to ensure the protection of aid workers."

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