Gov. Shettima intervenes in Nigerian Army-UN standoff over military raid

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Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

By Mustapha Buhari, Maiduguri

The Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, on Friday convened a stakeholders’ meeting to address the alleged invasion of UN facility by the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri.

The meeting followed uproar over the search of UN building by the Nigerian troops during a search operation in Pompamari area of Maiduguri.

The Army had called its search of UN building accidental, assuring it had cordial relationship with the UN officials in the Northeast, according to a statement by Director Defence Information, Defence Headquarters, John Enenche.

Both the Army and the UN had their representatives present at the State Security Council.

Those in attendance were the General Officer Commanding the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, the State Commissioner of Police, the State Director of SSS and the United Nations Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, Peter Lundberg.

A statement by media aide to Governor Shettima, Isa Gusau, revealed that the Governor had also called the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, on the phone to douse tension over the implication of the search of UN facility.

The estranged parties deliberated on their areas of concerns with Mr Shettima, making sure the UN was fully reassured of diplomatic protection and protocol, said Mr Gusau.

“At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that as a sign of good faith, all members of the State Security Council that include Governor Shettima and heads of military and other security establishments jointly pay a visit to the UN property involved in the military “cordon and search” on Friday in order to deepen relationship and to send a message of synergy to rebuild public confidence on humanitarian workers at the UN rented property and those operating in other parts of the state.

“The meeting took measures to forestall repeat of Friday’s incident in line with international diplomatic protocol which confers diplomatic privilege on UN premises all over the world.

“The meeting agreed to deepen relationship between security agencies and international partners operating in Borno State for the good of residents,” he added.

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