UN Reacts to Military Bombing Of Refugees

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The United Nations have asked the Nigerian government to ensure the unfortunate incident of Tuesday where dozens of civilians were killed by a military bomb does not reoccur.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UN also called on the Nigerian government to ensure a thorough probe of the attack.

Sources at the camp says at least 52 people were killed after a military jet accidentally bombed a camp used by persons displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, IDPs.

About 120 other occupants of the Rann camp in Kala-Balge Local Government Area were also injured in the attack.

The military has owned up to the bombing and said it was a fatal error as the original targets were suspected Boko Haram members. The federal government has also announced a probe of the incident with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff leading a government delegation to Borno on Wednesday over the incident.

In its statement on the attack, the UN called for a full investigation into it.

The global body, in a statement issued by the Office of the UN Secretary-General, also called for greater measures to protect civilians in the areas of military operations against Boko Haram insurgents.

“UN humanitarian officials are also questioning how a military airstrike ended up striking the displacement camp.

“Intermingled with messages of sympathy and solidarity with the victims, UN agencies called for a full investigation and greater measures to protect civilians going forward,” the UN said.

The Head of the UN Refugee Agency, Filippo Grandi, who met with Nigerian refugees in Borno in December 2016, called the airstrike “a truly catastrophic event.”

Mr. Grandi, therefore, “called for a full accounting so that the causes are known and measures put in place to ensure this does not happen again.”

In its message, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, stressed the importance of protecting civilians in complex humanitarian emergencies.

“UNICEF stands in solidarity with our humanitarian colleagues, and the dangerous conditions they work in.

“The aid workers who lost their lives were working to save others,” UNICEF Director for Emergency Programmes, Manuel Fontaine, said.

Amid outpouring of sympathy, UN emergency responders have continued to aid the bombed Nigerian camp, he said.

“United Nations humanitarian helicopter and emergency medical personnel are in north-eastern Nigeria following a military airstrike that hit a displacement camp killing dozens of people, including aid workers, and wounding a reported 100 others.

“The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), airlifted eight Nigerian Red Cross workers from the camp in Rann as part of the emergency responses.”

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, also said the response included nearly 900 pounds of emergency medical supplies

Ayodele is a Senior Editor at Premier News, an embodiment of creativity and dynamism, witty with words and full of life.

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