Humanitarian workers killed and others abducted in Nigeria

Relatives of one of the victims abducted last month gathered in Maiduguri, Nigeria Relatives of one of the victims abducted last month gathered in Maiduguri, Nigeria Audu Marte/Agence France-Presse

23 July 2020

Five aid workers abducted last month in Nigeria have been killed, allegedly by I.S.W.A.P

Despite the efforts of the United Nations (UN) to secure the release of the workers in June 2020, five humanitarian workers were killed in north-east Nigeria’s Borno State after being abducted the previous month. The Nigerian government managed to identify the five victims, corresponding to three aid workers for international aid organizations, namely Action Against Hunger, International Rescue Committee and Rich International, a government employee of the Nigeria’s State Emergency Management Agency, and a security worker. A video also surfaced on Wednesday showing the horrifying scene of them kneeling, blindfolded, and then shot.  

As stressed by Edward Kallon, UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, these workers were operating to assist vulnerable people and communities in constant need of urgent assistance. In particular, aid groups provide vital assistance for approximately 7.9 million people in the region.

Nigeria has been ravaged by a ten-year armed campaign led by the armed Islamist groups, including Boko Haram, which is responsible for the killing of thousands of people and displaced about two million from their homes. In this scenario, aid groups have frequently been targeted. An armed group, the Islamic State West Africa Province, or I.S.W.A.P., which constitutes a splinter group from Boko Haram, is thought to be behind this execution. Differently from Boko Haram, despite having mostly targeted Christians at first, it has recently begun killing other Muslims too, as reported by the Council on Foreign Relations.

The international organizations’ community stands together in mourning and solidarity towards the deceased colleagues. The International Rescue Committee condemns the killings as “senseless” and “barbaric”, underlining how the killing of aid workers constitutes a gross violation of international humanitarian law.

 

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/china-ties-fray-beijing-houston-consulate-shuts-200725070502466.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53511389#:~:text=Five%20aid%20workers%20abducted%20last,Management%20Agency%2C%20Nigeria's%20president%20confirmed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/23/world/africa/aid-workers-executed-nigeria.html

https://www.cfr.org/blog/iswas-recent-attacks-could-signal-new-deadlier-approach-nigeria?utm_medium=social_share&utm_source=tw

https://www.rescue.org/press-release/irc-grieves-over-loss-colleague-nigeria

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/23/africa/boko-haram-aid-workers-killed/index.html

 

 

Author: Author: Barbara Caltabiano; Editor: Gianmarco Italia

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