MSF Suspends Services, Evacuates Staff In Rann After Boko Haram Attack

Channels Television  
Updated March 5, 2018
MSF Suspends Activities In Rann After Boko Haram Attack
A file photo of a community in Rann, Borno State after a bomb explosion


Humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has suspended its medical activities in Rann, following a Boko Haram attack on the town in Borno State.

MSF announced this in a statement by its Field Communication Officer in the state, Musa Yahaya, saying it has also evacuated 22 national and international staff from the town.

READ ALSO: Killing Of Aid Workers Is Repulsive ‘Before God And Man’ – Buhari

The decision was a fallout of the attack by the outlawed group on an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp on Thursday last week, killing the three aid workers while three others were injured and a female nurse missing.

Condemning the attack, President Muhammadu Buhari said it had now shown the terrorists as godless, brutish, and utterly to be despised, while the United Nations urged the Federal Government to ensure the perpetrators were brought to book.

MSF, however, said it is still unclear how many people were killed and injured, but its medical staff treated nine wounded patients before leaving.

The Emergency Coordinator in Nigeria, Kerri Ann Kelly, said the decision is regrettable as thousands of people living in Rann rely almost entirely on MSF services to access healthcare.

“Leaving our patients, which include 60 children currently enrolled in our nutrition programme, without medical assistance, is an extremely painful decision,” she said.

“We will continue to evaluate how the situation evolves and we will return as soon as the conditions allow. This latest attack is a stark reminder that it is the people in Borno who are paying the price of this ruthless conflict.

“They are trapped in a deadly cycle of violence and are heavily reliant on external assistance to survive. In Rann, this is now considerably reduced,” Kelly added.

MSF teams have been providing medical care to about 40,000 people in Rann, since January 2017. Mobile teams delivered assistance on a regular basis, and a permanent medical team has been based in the town since September 2017.

According to the humanitarian organisation, the people in Rann are extremely vulnerable as many have sought shelter there after fleeing their homes in the wake of the insurgency.