– The United Nations Humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has raised concerns over the numerous Boko Haram attacks in Borno state
– Kallon lamented the death of several women and children most of whom are being used as vessels for bombs
– According to him, 8.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in the most affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa
The humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, on Tuesday, September 19, condemned the deadly attacks targeting innocent civilians in Konduga, Banki and Ngala areas of Borno.
Kallon expressed this view in a statement by Biodun Banire, public information officer, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Tuesday in Abuja
He said that four attacks in recent weeks, three of which were carried out by bombers, had claimed the lives of over 45 civilians and injured countless others.
News Agency of Nigerians (NAN) reports that Kallon said that the incidents were indicative of a surge in the brutal violence triggered by a regionalised conflict that is now in its eighth year.
“Civilians are routinely killed in direct and indiscriminate attacks in the north-east of Nigeria.
“This conflict, with all its brutality and horrors, is reaching new lows, with more than 80 children used as human bombs in 2017 alone.
“I call upon all parties to the conflict to respect human life and dignity.
“The latest attack occurred on September 18 in Konduga area, about 28 kilometers southeast of Maiduguri.
“Three bombers consecutively detonated explosive devices strapped to their bodies in Mashemari village, killing 13 and injuring many more,” he said.
According to him, previous attacks in Banki and Ngala targeted camps for internally displaced persons and Nigerian refugees returning home.
He said that these camps hosted thousands of vulnerable women, men and children, who had been forced to flee their homes and now rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.
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“The previous Konduga attack in August targeted a market in the town.
“The frequency of the attacks is on the rise and ‘softer’ targets, such as camps for displaced persons, are being identified by insurgents.
“This is an extremely worrying trend, while the government of Nigeria has made significant progress in many locations in the north-east, allowing thousands of people to return home, there is more to be done.
“I urge the government of Nigeria to increase efforts to protect civilians,” he said
He said that the protection of civilians was the focus of the ongoing humanitarian response in the northeast.
Kallon noted with concern that 8.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in the most affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
“Women, children and men face grave human rights violations and sexual and gender-based violence.
“Since the start of the conflict in 2009, thousands of people have been killed, thousands of women and girls have been abducted and children have been used as so-called self bombers,” he said.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 15 people were reportedly killed on Monday, September 18, when two bombers struck civilians receiving aid in Borno state, a rescue worker and a member of the civilian militia said.
“There were twin explosions at 11:10 am in Mashalari village (near Konduga), which killed 15 and left 43 others injured,” a rescue worker said in an account backed by Babakura Kolo, from the Civilian Joint Task Force.
Watch this NAIJ.com video as Nigerian Air Force strengthens its operations against Boko Haram: