Sunday 29th November 2020
Dozens of people have been killed in a brutal attack in northeastern Nigeria, according to the UN. Armed men on motorcycles attacked men and women yesterday Saturday in Koshobe and surrounding places in the state of Borno while working in the fields. This was reported by Edward Kallon, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria. “The incident marks the most brutal direct attack on innocent civilians this year.” Several other people were injured.
There are also reports that several women have been kidnapped, he said, and called for their immediate release. A resident of the area, Danjuma Saidu, said some of the fatalities had gunshot wounds and others had their throats cut. The residents of the area were “shocked by the brutality of yesterday’s attack and fear for their safety,” said Kallon.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari strongly condemned the attack. “The whole country is injured by these senseless killings,” his spokesman Garba Shehu quoted him as saying. Accordingly, the head of state described the “terrorist killings” as crazy.
It was initially unclear who was behind the atrocity. However, for years there have been attacks in Borno by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram or the splinter group ISWAP, which swore allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) a few years ago. According to the UN Refugee Agency, at least 2.4 million people in northeastern Nigeria and neighboring countries are on the run because of violence by armed groups.
Too often farmers, fishermen and families trying to restore part of their livelihoods after a decade of conflict are attacked, criticized Kallon. Helping rural communities to plow land and rebuild their livelihoods are therefore one of the priorities of the UN and the only way to avoid an impending food crisis in the state of Borno.