Boko Haram Insurgents Abduct Aid Workers In Borno

At least 35,000 people had fled Marte to Dikwa when the insurgents attacked.

 

Boko Haram insurgents have attacked Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State and abducted at least seven aid workers.

The insurgents during the attack also burnt the offices of the aid workers, destroyed government facilities, and hospitals belonging to NGOs.

An eyewitness told Channels Television that the insurgents stormed the town at 5:30 pm on Monday evening, and have since been in control of the town.

The eyewitness said troops have been battling to dislodge the town throughout the night.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: President Buhari Meets With National Security Council

Reinforcement from Ajiri town was ambushed by the insurgents in the early hours of Tuesday which slowed every attempt to engage the Boko Haram insurgents when they struck.

Some aid workers who spoke to Channels Television from the town narrated how the insurgents set ablaze buildings and health facilities belonging to humanitarian workers.

The attack is coming 24 hours after the state governor Babagana Zulum returned from a trip after spending three nights in Dikwa.

Zulum left Maiduguri on Wednesday, a day after Marte was liberated, and proceeded to Dikwa where he stayed till Saturday, proceeded to Ngala, and returned to Maiduguri on Sunday.

Channels Television gathered from sources stuck in Dikwa that the insurgents are currently moving freely in the town, and have mounted a checkpoint at the exit preventing people from fleeing to Maiduguri.

The Chief of Army staff had recently visited the headquarters of the Army Super Camp 9 located in Dikwa, where he gave troops a 48-hour ultimatum to clear insurgents from neighboring Marte local government.

At least 35,000 people had fled Marte to Dikwa when the insurgents attacked.

Four Aid Workers Killed In Ethiopia Conflict

A member of the Ethiopian Defense Forces walks away from a damaged military truck abandoned on a road near the village of Ayasu Gebriel, East of the Ethiopian city of Alamata, on December 10, 2020. EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP
A member of the Ethiopian Defense Forces walks away from a damaged military truck abandoned on a road near the village of Ayasu Gebriel, East of the Ethiopian city of Alamata, on December 10, 2020. EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP

 

Two international aid agencies on Friday said four staff members were killed during last month’s fighting in Ethiopia’s troubled northern Tigray region.

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) reported the deaths of three security guards, while the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said one of its staff members had been killed.

An estimated 600,000 people in Tigray were dependent on food aid before the fighting began,  including 96,000 refugees from neighbouring Eritrea.

READ ALSO: Ethiopia Insists It Will Control Aid To Troubled Tigray

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered troops into Tigray on November 4, following alleged attacks by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces, aid workers were left stranded and vulnerable.

A communications blackout imposed by the government combined with tight restrictions on access to Tigray has made it very difficult for aid agencies to confirm the whereabouts and safety of their staff in the area.

DRC said it was “deeply saddened to confirm the death of three colleagues,” adding that its “workers are at the forefront of the humanitarian imperative to provide assistance to those in need.

“Sadly, due to the lack of communications and ongoing insecurity in the region, it has not yet been possible to reach their families,” a statement said.

In another statement, IRC said it “regrets to confirm the killing of a staff member in Hitsats Refugee Camp in Shire”.

“Our in-country staff are the very heart of our work and are key in our ability to provide support and assistance to our clients,” it said.

“Communication with the area is extremely difficult and we are still working to gather and confirm the details surrounding the events.”

Despite Abiy’s declaration of victory on November 28, the UN and aid agencies have said fighting continues.

 

AFP

Insurgency: NLC Asks FG To Implement Life Insurance For Aid Workers

 

The Borno State Chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress has asked the Federal Government to influence the implementation of insurance packages for aid workers.

The state chairman of the union, Bulama Abiso stated this at a joint press conference with Trade Unions and Civil Society Network in Maiduguri, the state capital.

The coalition said the press conference became necessary following the persistent security challenges the state is facing.

The group is seeking justice for slain aid workers while highlighting the need to prioritise their safety.

“We are calling on the Federal and State Governments, The United Nations and INGOs to consider insurance packages to partner national organisations and local staff; this will encourage indigenous citizens to continue providing humanitarian support to the affected communities,” Abiso said.

While the UN has made provision for insurance coverage for its staff, most local and international NGOs have no such packages.

The coalition also believes that resources allocated to the counter-insurgency war both at the state and federal levels are not commensurate with the realities on the ground.

“We are calling for a total overhaul of the process, system, and strategies; there is no harm in seeking external support if that is what is needed to bring peace to the region,” Abiso added.

Suspected Boko Haram Fighters Execute Five Aid Workers In Borno

A screengrab from the video showing the execution of five men by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.

 

A video has surfaced online showing the execution of five persons by masked men in military camouflage, suspected to be Boko Haram fighters.

A voice was heard speaking in Hausa before the execution, saying that the five persons were working for infidels.

“Those of you that are being used by infidels to turn others to infidels, know this today oh, you who work for infidel groups, you satisfy their aims but they do not care about you and that is why when we catch you they do not show concern. Our call to you is to repent and follow Allah; we shall waylay you in all the roads that you follow and if you don’t listen, the fate of these ones will befall you,” the voice said.

The execution immediately followed his speech at the cue of another voice that said “bisimillah.”

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.
Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.

 

Read Also:  Southern Kaduna Killings More Complicated Than Many Are Ready To Admit – Presidency

The slain persons are believed to be aid workers captured during a raid in Monguno Local Government of Borno State on June 13, 2020.

They include staff of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, International Rescue Committee and a security guard.

The execution came after the insurgents demanded the sum of 500,000 dollars to release them.

A staff of the SEMA who pleaded anonymity identified his colleague among those executed, who had also featured in a recent video where they spoke from captivity pleading with the government to intervene.

 

A view of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, northeast Nigeria, which has been notorious for being a hideout for Boko Haram Insurgents.

 

Despite several air raids by the military and assurances by the Federal Government that many insurgents have been neutralised, they have continued to resurface, attacking communities, aid workers, and even military bases.

Last year, Jihadists aligned with the Islamic State group released a video showing a female aid worker and five male colleagues who had been kidnapped in an attack in northeast Nigeria.

Aid group, Action Against Hunger, had said earlier that one of its staff members along with three health workers and two drivers were missing after their convoy was attacked near the border with Niger.

 

 

One of the six hostages who had been held since July, was eventually executed in September, while four others were killed in December.

Thereafter, the French aid group, said it was “extremely concerned and called for the immediate release of its staff member, Grace, who was the only one left in captivity.”

Number Of Aid Workers Killed By Insurgents Doubled In 2019, Says UN

Boko Haram: 27,000 Civilians Killed In Three States – UN

 

The United Nations has condemned the spate of attacks on aid workers providing support to victims of insurgency in the north-eastern region of Nigeria.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, revealed on Thursday that the number of humanitarian workers killed by the insurgents last year was twice the figure recorded in the previous year.

“A total of twelve aid workers have lost their lives in 2019,” he said in a statement forwarded to Channels Television.

The UN envoy added, “This is twice more than in 2018, which we thought was amongst the most dangerous years for humanitarian actors in Nigeria.”

He blamed the killings on the environment in which aid workers carry out their duties, stressing that the level of insecurity in the region has been on the rise.

Kallon also decried the activities of the insurgents at various checkpoints in the region, saying the trend has exposed a lot of innocent citizens to attacks in recent times.

He said, “I am extremely worried by the increasingly insecure environment that humanitarians are working in to provide urgent and vital assistance to civilians affected by the crisis.

“The humanitarian community is troubled by the increased trend in vehicular checkpoints set up by non-state armed groups along main supply routes in the states of Borno and Yobe.”

“These checkpoints expose civilians and humanitarians to heightened risks of being killed or abducted,” the humanitarian coordinator said.

He, therefore, urged the Nigerian Government and all relevant agencies to protect the residents and aid workers from “grave violations” of international laws.

Kallon advised that special attention should be given to women and children who he said were among the most vulnerable people caught up in the violence.

According to him, aid workers and the assistance they provide to the most vulnerable populations make the difference between life and death for entire communities in crisis-affected Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.

“Their security is paramount, and I call on all parties to assure the safety of aid workers and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid,” he said.

Insurgents Release Three Aid Workers, Others Abducted In Borno

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

Three aid workers and some residents abducted by insurgents by suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group have regained their freedom.

Although the number of residents freed has yet to be ascertained, the insurgents released the victims on Wednesday.

The kidnapped persons were released by their abductors about three weeks after they were abducted along the Monguno-Maiduguri Road in Borno State.

READ ALSO: Insurgents ‘Abduct’ Two Aid Workers, Kill Four Travellers

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, confirmed the release in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Thursday.

He said, “I am deeply relieved that some civilians, including three aid workers, who were abducted by non-state armed groups along the Monguno – Maiduguri road on 22 December 2019 have been released yesterday and are now safe.”

“The whole humanitarian community in Nigeria shares the joy of the families, friends and colleagues of these aid workers, who can now put to rest the unimaginable anxiety of missing their loved ones,” the UN envoy added.

A file photo of a community in Borno State.

 

 

He described the freed aid workers as dedicated humanitarians making efforts to provide life-saving support to millions of Nigeria’s “most vulnerable” in north-eastern Borno State.

“They should never have been a target or have to endure the trauma of being held captive,” Kallon decried.

Although he welcomed the release of the three aid workers, the humanitarian coordinator was worried about the fate of the others abducted in the incident.

He was also concerned for the lives of two other aid workers – Grace Taku who was abducted near Damasak in July 2019, as well as Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother who has been held captive since March 2018 following an attack in Rann.

“Both are still held captive by non-state armed groups. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners call for their immediate and safe release,” said Kallon.

Insurgents ‘Abduct’ Two Aid Workers, Kill Four Travellers

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have killed four travellers and reportedly abducted two aid workers along Monguno-Maiduguri road in Borno state.

The travellers were killed in an ambush on Sunday, while the aid workers simply identified as Asabe and Jennifer who are staff of Alisma were abducted in the same ambush by the insurgents.

Similarly, the terrorists had attempted to infiltrate Damaturu, Yobe State on the same day, but were pushed back by troops of the Nigerian Army.

RELATED: Suspected Boko Haram Insurgents Attack Parts Of Yobe

Unsatisfied with the failed attempt in Yobe, they attempted to infiltrate Biu Local Government Area of Borno but were also repelled by troops of the Army.

The attack was launched at about 7 pm and it is believed that the insurgents made their way through the Buni Yadi-Biu Road.

Residents of Biu, the hometown of the Chief of Army Staff were thrown into a panic with the hot exchange between the army and the insurgents.

Heavy gun battles between insurgents and the Army rocked the area for at least one hour, but the troops overpowered the terrorists who retreated, took the opportunity and pounced on the travellers and aid workers.

The attack happened exactly a week after Defense Minister; Bashir Magashi visited the headquarters of Sector 3 located in Monguno in solidarity with the troops.

Killing Of Four Aid Worker Tragic, Shocking – Minister

 

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has condemned the killing of four aid workers by insurgents in Borno State.

The announcement of the killing of the four aid workers was made by one of the International Humanitarian Organizations, Action Against Hunger, who provide relief and aid to Nigerians affected by the Humanitarian crisis in North-Eastern Nigeria.

They were abducted on July 26 in Mobbar LGA and have remained in captivity since then.

READ ALSO: Buhari Sad After ‘Alleged Execution’ Of Four Aid Workers

The minister in a statement by her Special Adviser on Media, Halima Oyelade, said that she received the news with great shock and sadness and her thoughts are with the families of the aid workers.

“I received with utter shock and great sadness the inhuman and tragic killing of four innocent aid workers in the North East by armed groups. My thoughts and deepest sympathy go to the families, friends, and colleagues of the deceased who have paid the ultimate price in service to humanity.” Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq described the killing as a great loss to Nigeria.

“The government and people of Nigeria recognise and appreciate the activities of local and international humanitarian organizations and their staff who in spite of the risks involved continue to work to provide food, health care, and necessary relief materials to victims of the conflict in the North East,” said the Honourable Minister. She further reassured Nigerians and humanitarian Actors in Nigeria that Government is committed to the safety of aid workers and Nigerians.

“The Federal Government is resolute and focussed on countering all forms of armed violence, insurgency, and conflict, while ensuring the safety and protection of aid workers, Nigerians and all those living in or visiting Nigeria” the Minister added, “I urge Nigerians and Humanitarian actors to remain calm in the face of these senseless and evil acts as our collective force of goodwill overcome the evil perpetrated by a few bad elements.”

The Honourable Minister encouraged humanitarian organizations, security operatives and the public to work together especially by sharing useful information that can aid the fight against terrorism and armed conflict.

UN Condemns Reported Killing Of Four Aid Workers In Borno

 

The United Nations has condemned the reported killing of four aid workers in Borno by Boko Haram terrorists.

This follows the condemnation of the murder by French aid group, Action Against Hunger .

In a statement issued on Saturday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, sympathised with the families of the slain workers.

“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,” Kallon said.

The UN humanitarian chief however called for the immediate release of Grace Taku, the only woman he said was in the Action Against Hunger team.

READ ALSO: Jihadists Execute Four Hostages In Nigeria – NGO

Regretting the continued captivity of the voluntary staff, Kallon appealed for the “immediate release of Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother, who was abducted during an attack in Rann in March 2018.”

The four aid workers were among six humanitarian workers from Action Against Hunger abducted by Boko Haram near Damasak in Mobbar Local Government in the northern part of Borno on July 25.

One of the abductee aid workers was reportedly executed in September, leaving only Grace Taku, the only woman still in Boko Haram captivity.

See Full Statement Here:

Press release

NIGERIA: THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR CONDEMNS THE REPORTED KILLING OF FOUR AID WORKERS

ABUJA, 13 December – The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, condemns the announced execution of four aid workers by armed groups in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State on 13 December.

“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,” stated Mr Kallon. “My thoughts go to their families, friends and colleagues who are enduring unspeakable pain and hardship.”

The four men were amongst the six aid workers who were abducted on 26 July when their convoy came under attack near Damasak, in the Mobbar LGA. They were working on a health project implemented by the INGO Action Against Hunger. One of the drivers was killed during the attack and another was reportedly executed on 24 September 2019.

“I plead for the immediate release of Grace Taku, the only woman who was in the ACF team, and whose whereabouts remain unknown,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator. “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,” regreted Mr Kallon. “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,” stressed the Humanitarian Coordinator. “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.”

Presidency Reacts To Video Of Aid Workers Pleading For Rescue

Presidency Reacts To Video Of Aid Workers Pleading For Rescue

 

The Presidency has reacted to a viral video showing a female aid worker and five male colleagues kidnapped by insurgents in Nigeria’s north-east region.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said the victims’ abductors were being engaged.

According to an aid group, Action Against Hunger, one of its staff members along with three health workers and two drivers were missing after their convoy was attacked on Thursday last week.

READ ALSO: Kidnapped Aid Workers Plead For Rescue In New Video

In the three-minute video, the woman said she was the abducted aid worker and identified the five others with her as her colleagues.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Mr Shehu said the Presidency was aware of the video while they were assured that the captors were being talked to.

He explained that apart from the victims who appeared in the video, the engagement also covered the release of Leah Sharibu, the abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, as well as a religious leader among others.

The presidential aide, however, noted that the video would make the government step up its effort at ensuring that the abducted persons regain their freedom.

Read his tweets below:

One Dead, Six Missing After Attack On Aid Workers In Borno

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

A convoy of vehicles carrying aid workers of Action Against Hunger was attacked on the road to Damasak, Borno state.

The attack, according to Country Director of Action Against Hunger, Shashwat Saraf, happened on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

He said one staff of the humanitarian organisation was killed by the attackers, while six others are missing.

“On Thursday 18 July 2019, a convoy of vehicles was attacked on the road to Damasak, Borno state, Nigeria. One of the drivers was killed, while one Action Against Hunger staff member, two of the drivers and three health workers are missing.”

READ ALSO: Military, Insurgents Lock Horns In Jakana, Borno State

Mr Saraf expressed concerns and said that efforts will be made to reunite the abducted with their families.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident as these are colleagues dedicated to providing life-saving assistance to individuals and families affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northeast of Nigeria.

“We are very concerned and want to ensure that they are safe and can be reunited with their families.

“We express our deepest condolences to the family of our driver and we extend our support to the family of our missing colleagues as well as others affected by this incident.”

UN Condemns Attack On Aid Workers In Borno

 

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kalon has reacted to the attack on aid workers in Northern Borno.

Country Director of Action Against Hunger, Shashwat Saraf had earlier said that a vehicle belonging to the organisation was ambushed by an Armed Group 15 kilometers away from Damasak town, with some of the occupants reportedly abducted.

The UN Coordinator, Mr Kalon, in a statement issued on Friday, said he was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the reports and is concerned about their safety.

“I am deeply disturbed by reports of an incident involving aid workers from International NGOs in northern Borno State. As details are still coming in and information has yet to be confirmed, the humanitarian community in Nigeria is concerned about the safety of our ACF colleague, partners, and contractors involved in the attack against an aid convoy reported on 18 July on the Gubio-Damasak road.” The statement read.

The statement further added: “They devote their lives to helping vulnerable people and communities in an area heavily affected by violence. I call on all who may have the influence to do everything they can to keep them unharmed and work towards their safe return.”

RELATED: One Dead, Six Missing After Attack On Aid Workers In Borno

Mr Kalon pleaded with the public to refrain from sharing any unconfirmed information, as according to him, the spread of misinformation may put the concerned aid workers at risk and jeopardise their way back to safety.

“This attack occurs only a couple weeks before the ongoing crisis affecting the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe enter its tenth year. Today, 7.1 million people still need humanitarian assistance. Violence, insecurity, and inaccessibility to remote areas of Borno State continue to hamper the response to urgent needs.

“These acts of violence affect the very individuals, families, and communities that we support, and deprive vulnerable people of vital services. All parties should protect and facilitate the delivery of aid. Despite constraints, the humanitarian community remains committed to doing its utmost to provide lifesaving assistance and help the people in north-east Nigeria rebuild their lives.” Kalon stated.