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Friday, 11 August 2017

Nigerian military raids UN humanitarian camp in Maiduguri, Borno state

Security forces including military men have raided the United Nations (UN) Head Office along Pompomari Bye-Pass road in Maiduguri, Borno state.

Confirming the raid in a press statement, Head, Communications UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Miss Samantha Newport said, “On 11 August 2017, at circa 0500 hours, members of the Nigerian security forces entered a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, without authorization.

“The security forces carried out a search of the tented camp and left the area at circa 0800 hours.

“The United Nations does not have any additional information at this time regarding the reason or motivations for the unauthorized search.

“The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and the Designated Official for Security in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, is liaising with the Government of Nigeria.

“The United Nations is extremely concerned that these actions could be detrimental to the delivery of lifesaving aid to the millions of vulnerable people in the northeast of Nigeria”.

However, the  Nigerian Army has given reasons why soldiers invaded the UN humanitarian camp.

In a statement issued by Lt. Col. Kingsley Samuel, the army said it carried out a search on the property because it had credible intelligence that some Boko Haram insurgents had infiltrated the area.

He added that no arrest was made during the search.

“As part of ongoing counter insurgency operations, the theatre command Operation Lafiya Dole has been conducting several clearance as well as cordon and search operations in urban and rural areas within the theatre. The clearance operations effort has been yielding several successes,” he said in a statement.

“It has forced the Boko Haram terrorists (BHTs) to change tactics and resort to employment of suicide bombers to target military locations and the populace. This necessitated the need to intensify cordon and search in Maiduguri metropolis and environment.

“In the last one week cordon and search operations were conducted in Jiddari –Polo, Muna Garage, Jakana amongst several other areas. On 10th August 2017, theatre command received information from one of its credible sources that some high value BHT suspects had infiltrated into Pompomari Bye-Pass.

“It, therefore, became expedient to take pre-emptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operations. The operation was successfully conducted as over 30 houses were searched. One of such included a property which was said to be occupied by United Nations staff, although the property did not carry a UN designation. On the whole, operation in the general area was successfully concluded but no arrest was made because the suspects were not found.”




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