- BY REMILEKUN DARAMOLA in Maiduguri•
The United Nations has called on the Nigerian government to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to no fewer than 10,000 persons forced to relocate from their town to Maiduguri.
In a statement on Thursday, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, also called on the Nigerian government to provide protection for up to 10,000 women, men and children who were forced to relocate to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, from a town 40 kilometres away.
The statement signed by Samantha Newport, Head of Communications, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) said: “On the evening of 8 April 2019 the Nigerian military ordered the immediate departure of and forced the relocation of up to 10,000 civilians in the middle of the night, without prior warning, from Jakana town, transporting them by bus or truck to Bakassi camp for internally displaced people.
“According to the military, the civilians were relocated for security reasons ahead of planned operations in the area.”
The statement quoting Kallon lamented that: “The entire town of Jakana was emptied, and people were forced to move to Maiduguri with very little time to collect personal belongings. Some people said they arrived in Maiduguri with nothing, not even with shoes on their feet.
“The United Nations is urging the Government to urgently provide safety, shelter, food, water and medical care to the displaced civilians, in addition to information about when they will be allowed to return home.”
The statement further read that: “The United Nations and its humanitarian partners call on the Government of Nigeria to take all possible practical measures to ensure the protection of civilians and full respect of the rights of individuals in accordance with its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law as well as the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
“The United Nations reaffirms its commitment to support national and local efforts to ensure that civilians affected by the conflict in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states can access the humanitarian assistance and protection services they require.”