from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE global humanitarian community is mourning the murder of five aid workers by a rebel group in northeast Nigeria.
Boko Haram, an Islamist sect, is allegedly the perpetrator of the gruesome killing of the individuals that were kidnapped in the Borno State last month.
“I am utterly shocked and horrified by the gruesome killing of some of our colleagues and partners by non-state armed groups,” Edward Kallon, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria, said.
The UN and partners had over the past few weeks made frantic efforts to secure the release of the aid workers that had been kidnapped along the main route connecting the northern town of Monguno with Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno State.
“I strongly condemn all violence targeting aid workers and the civilians they are assisting,” Kallon said.
He condemned the illegal vehicular checkpoints set up by non-state armed groups along the main supply routes.
The roadblocks disrupt the delivery of life-saving assistance and heighten risks for civilians of being abducted, killed or injured.
Aid workers are increasingly being singled out.
“This is tragically not the first killing of kidnapped aid workers,” Kallon lamented.
REACH, an aid organisation whose member was among those executed, also denounced the killings.
“We condemn, in the strongest terms, these executions and deeply regret that our calls for their release have not been answered,” the agency stated.
Boko Haram is wreaking havoc in northeast Nigeria, where nearly 10 million people need urgent life-saving assistance.
The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the crisis.
– CAJ News