Thirty-seven aid personnel were confirmed killed following the decade-long activities of terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said, calling for the protection of people engaged in humanitarian services in the country.
Since 2018, attacks on humanitarian workers in Nigeria’s northeast region, the stronghold of Boko Haram, had become even worse, the UN agency said in a statement reaching Xinhua in Abuja on Tuesday.
“As respect for the laws of war weakens, aid workers are increasingly vulnerable, though they are more needed than ever before,” the statement said. “March 2018 has marked a turning point, humanitarian workers are a target in Nigeria.”
The latest of this kind of attacks occurred on July 18, when Boko Haram attacked a convoy of vehicles conveying aid workers to Damasak area of Borno, one of three northeastern states most-hit by the Boko Haram militancy in Nigeria.
In that attack, one driver was killed and six others, including four health personnel and two drivers, were kidnapped by Boko Haram.
They were on their way to provide life-saving assistance to individuals and families affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northeast of Nigeria when they were ambushed by the Boko Haram militants.
Incidents involving or directly targeting aid workers had persisted unabated in Nigeria’s northeast region since three humanitarians were killed and three women and others abducted in Rann, the location of an internally displaced persons’ camp in Borno, by Boko Haram in March 2018, the UN agency noted.
“I want to say enough to armed attacks against humanitarians; enough attacks against aid convoys, enough kidnappings and enough to lootings of vital assistance meant for the millions in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, who desperately need it,” added the statement by Peter Ekayu, head of UNOCHA in Nigeria.