From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) in Nigeria has expressed grave concern about increasing attacks on civilian population by Boko Haram/ISWAP and recent communal clashes in northeast Borno and Adamawa states.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Matthias Schmale in a statement on Thursday, condemned the violence including killings of civilians by non-state armed groups (insurgents and terrorists) in the central part of Borno and destruction as well as displacement caused by the communal clashes in neighboring Adamawa State.
“I am gravely concerned about the recent waves of violence affecting civilians in north-east Nigeria. Through both attacks by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and communal clashes, the violence raises immediate concerns for the safety of civilians,” the UN chief said.
He said the escalation of violence puts the capacity of humanitarian aid organizations to securely deliver assistance to vulnerable people at serious risk.
He said over 30 ‘civilians killed, 57 wounded, more than 500 homes damaged or destroyed and over 10,000 displaced between 6th and 9th June at Guyuk and Lamurde local governments, Adamawa State. He said the violence was caused by clashes among communities over land diapute.
He also recalled the killing of dozens of people during an attack on Mugdala village, on the outskirts of Dikwa town in Borno State on June 7.
“This was the latest in a string of major attacks by NSAGs, and took place two weeks after an attack on 24 May in Mudu village in Dikwa LGA killed at least 32 civilians,” he disclosed. He said report indicated those killed were IDPs who left Rann, Borno border town, in search of scraps.
He said food supply routes for the civilian population are under threats with the insurgents engaging in looting and destruction of food suppliers including the burning of six trucks carrying food supplies and fuel on a major road in Borno recently.
He called on all armed parties to stop the violence and respect international humanitarian law and human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians.
He expressed the condolences of the humanitarian community to the families of the victims killed in various incidents which he described as horrific.