Edward Kallon, the UN Country, Humanitarian Coordinator, has condemned the attack coordinated by non-state armed groups against the humanitarian accommodation in Ngala, Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno.
Mr Kallon said this in a statement on Monday in Maiduguri by Eve Sabvagh, the Head Public Information, UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA.
He said that he was shocked by the violence and intensity of attacks targeting humanitarian workers.
“I am outraged by the extremely violent attack on this key humanitarian facility where five UN staff were staying at the time of the incident.
“On the evening of Saturday, Jan. 18; the humanitarian hub in Ngala was the direct target of a complex assault by heavily armed non-state armed group.
“An entire section of the facility was burned down as well as one of the few vehicles UN agencies rely on for movement and aid delivery.
“Protective security measures deployed at the humanitarian hub prevented any harm to the staff who were in the facility,” Mr Kallon said.
He said that he was however, relieved that all staff are now safe and secured.
“Aid workers, humanitarian facilities and assets cannot be a target and must be protected and respected at all times”
“Such incidents have a disastrous effect on the lives of the most vulnerable people who need assistance to survive and jeopardised the ability of aid workers to stay and deliver assistance to the people in need in the remote areas of the state.
He however, called on all parties to the conflict to respect the principles of humanity, neutrality, independence and impartiality which guide the operation of humanitarian communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
According to him, aid workers were providing assistance to more than 55,000 people in the town of Ngala, near the border with Cameroon.
Mr Kallon added that over 10, 000 people arrived the town in 2019; seeking for security and basic services.
He said that humanitarian hubs in Borno were critical to the effective response and create operating environments for aid workers in remote locations where some of the most vulnerable people sought refuge.
The official said that the UN and partners were working to provide vital assistance to over 7 million people in the crisis-affected northeast.
“They are increasingly the target of attacks; 12 aid workers lost their lives in 2019, which is twice the number in the previous year.
“Two aid workers remain in the captivity of non-state armed groups; ACF staff member Grace Taku abducted near Damasak in July 2019.
“Also, Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother was kidnapped during an attack in Rann in March 2018. The UN and its humanitarian partners call for their immediate and safe release.”