Nigeria

UN condemns Boko Haram attack on Damasak, damage to chopper

The United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, on Saturday, condemned the Boko Haram attack in Damasak, which damaged a humanitarian helicopter.

Kallon in a statement decried the July 2 violent attack in which at least two innocent civilians lost their lives, including a five-year-old child.

Several others were injured, and a humanitarian helicopter was hit, sustaining serious damage.

He extended condolences to the families of the civilians who lost their lives in the attack and wish a prompt recovery to those injured.

Deploring that a UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets, Kallon said no aid workers were on board.

“My thoughts are also with the crew and I commend them for piloting the chopper back to safety during this critical situation.”

He lamented that the attack would severely affect the ability of aid actors to provide urgently needed assistance to vulnerable people in remote areas across Borno State.

The UN Humanitarian Air Service is essential to evacuate wounded civilians and remains the backbone to facilitating humanitarian access, thereby enabling UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to safely and securely reach the most vulnerable populations.

“In 2019, UNHAS transported 66,271 passengers and 147 megatons of humanitarian assistance, as well as conducted 30 medical and 70 security evacuations.”

Kallon condemned the attack against civilians, humanitarian assets or aid workers and call on all armed parties to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property and personnel.

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