The International Committee of the Red Cross said the option of pulling out of Nigeria was never considered after the killing of it’s second staff by terrorist group in the North East.
Speaking to journalists in Maiduguri after a visit to the families of slain staff, Saifura Hussein and Hauwa Liman, the Regional Director for Africa at the ICRC, Patricia Danzi said: “In Nigeria, we have a very large operation. We have operation all over the country, so pulling out of Nigeria is not an option. Pulling out of Maiduguri is not also an option.”
She admitted that: “We have to rethink how we can access difficult terrain and make our workers safe as much as possible.”
She said even with the corpses of the two slain staff not delivered, there was no doubt that they have been killed.
She explained that: “We cannot but take it that our staff have been killed even if their corpses have not been delivered to us or the family. The doubt that some elude to may exist, but for us to receive information that our staff have been killed was enough.”
Danzi, who said she was in Maiduguri along with top staff from the ICRC headquarters in Geneva to condole with the families of the slain staff to talk to staff in the area on how to proceed with their work into the future, noted that the mood of families of the deceased and the rest of the staff was sad.
She said the staff did not equally understand why the arm group had to killed the abducted women.
Danzi said ICRC will continue to do everything to protect its staff, insisting that “despite the mood we see the need to work to assist the people in need because this is what the two staff worked dying for, they worked for the people that are displaced, the people that need health care.”
She said ICRC is encouraged by the fact that Nigerians support it’s effort and are against the criminality of the armed group.
She said: “All across Nigeria, both in Maiduguri and Abuja, over 99 percent do not understand the reason for the killing.
“Nigerians have continued to say this is not what we stand for. Nigerians as a today is over 180 million people and 179.9 million people do not know the reason for this.”
She said that little was needed to motivate the staff to continue the good work in the North East.
Danzi said: “We do not meet to do much to motivate the staff in Maiduguri or elsewhere in Nigeria, they are motivated within themselves.
“They are motivated by the question; what should we do and how do we proceed and they are moved by how they can continue to direct their efforts in the right direction.
“As humanitarian organisation, we are going to find humanitarian solution to all the problems that exist and this involve talking to everyone to make them understand about humanitarian work.”