Photo credit: SaharaReporters
According to a report by SaharaReporters, so many aid workers are missing after the terror group, Boko Haram attacked the Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.
Dikwa town is about 90km from Maiduguri, Borno State capital, and has experienced several attacks from the insurgents since the liberation of the town in 2016.
The town hosts the military Super Camp 9 where the new Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru visited last week.
The insurgents during the attack burnt the offices of the aid workers, destroyed government facilities, and hospitals belonging to non-governmental organisations in the community.
The insurgents had on Monday engaged security operatives in a gun battle before taking control of the ancient town, while most of the villagers ran away for safety; some were held by the group.
They were also said to have breached the security of the UN hub in the community and then laid siege to the facility, causing humanitarian workers and guests to retreat to hide.
The gunmen who came with heavy machine guns and trucks, also took possession of the military formation, including high-profile fighting equipment and vehicles.
The insurgents however pulled out of the town on Tuesday after having it under its control for hours and killing five soldiers.
Military sources on Thursday told SaharaReporters that the gunmen went away with many aid workers after destroying the UN humanitarian hub which caters to over 100,000 persons, mostly internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“The terror group gave small children money to show them where aid workers are living, they invaded the places and assembled them all. Their commandant who led the attack was speaking in French with a translator who spoke Kanuri.
“We don’t know the actual number of those taken away,” one of the sources said.
Reacting, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nigeria, UN-OCHA, condemned the attack.
UN- OCHA Coordinator, Edward Kallon in a statement said he was enraged by the attack and was concerned about the safety of civilians and aid workers in the town.
He called for adequate and maximum security of civilians and aid workers in the region.
“I am gravely preoccupied by reports on an ongoing violent attack by non-state armed groups in Dikwa, Borno State, during which several aid facilities were directly targeted. The attack started last night and, as information is still coming through, I am outraged to hear the premises of several aid agencies and a hospital were reportedly set ablaze and sustained damage,” he said.
“I strongly condemn the attack and deeply concerned about the safety and security of civilians in Dikwa, including internally displaced people inside and outside camps and thousands of people who had returned to the community to rebuild their lives after years in displacement.
“The violent attack will affect the support provided to nearly 100,000 people who are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic risks spreading in Borno State.
“Civilians and aid workers, their facilities and assets should never be a target. They must be protected and respected at all times. I call on all armed parties to immediately stop the violence and respect international humanitarian law and human rights law and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian and personnel.”