Boko Haram: UN condemns attack in Konduga, says 45 killed in recent weeks
The Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, on Tuesday, strongly condemned the deadly attacks targeting innocent civilians in Konduga, Banki and Ngala areas of Borno State in conflict-struck north-east Nigeria.
In a statement released to journalists in Maiduguri on Tuesday, Mr. Kallon said four attacks in recent weeks, three of which were carried out by suicide bombers, had claimed the lives of over 45 civilians and injured countless others.
He said it was an indicative of a surge in the brutal violence triggered by a regionalized conflict that was now in its eighth year.
According to the statement, civilians are routinely killed in direct and indiscriminate attacks in the north-east of Nigeria.
“This conflict, with all its brutality and horrors, is reaching new lows, with more than 80 children used as human bombs in 2017 alone. I call upon all parties to the conflict to respect human life and dignity,” Mr. Kallon said.
He recalled, “The latest attack occurred on 18 September in Konduga area, about 28 kilometers southeast of Maiduguri. Three suicide bombers consecutively detonated explosive devices strapped to their bodies in Mashemari village, killing 13 and injuring many more.
“Previous attacks in Banki and Ngala targeted camps for internally displaced persons and Nigerian refugees returning home.
“These camps host thousands of vulnerable women, men and children who have been forced to flee their homes and now rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs. The previous Konduga attack in August targeted a market in the town.
“The frequency of the attacks is on the rise and ‘softer’ targets, such as camps for displaced persons, are being identified by insurgents.
“This is an extremely worrying trend. While the Government of Nigeria has made significant progress in many locations in the north-east, allowing thousands of people to return home, there is more to be done. I urge the Government of Nigeria to increase efforts to protect civilians,” added Mr. Kallon.
He said the protection of civilians was the focus of the ongoing humanitarian response in the north-east, where 8.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in the most affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Women, children and men face grave human rights violations and sexual and gender-based violence, including rape.
He observed that since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed, thousands of women and girls have been abducted and children have been used as so-called “suicide” bombers.