Army invasion: Nigerian government apologises to UN

Nigerian government on Sunday apologised to the United Nations (UN) over raid of its humanitarian base camp by the Nigerian Army last Friday in Maiduguri.

Government said it will continue to respect and safeguard diplomatic status of the organisation’s personnel and property in Nigeria.

This is contained in a statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs acting spokesperson, Ms Jane Adams.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, had condemned the and demanded an explanation from the federal government.

In the statement, the ministry expressed regret over the incident, noting that government recognised its obligations under international humanitarian law and principles which protect all humanitarian organisations.

“The Federal Government, however, noted with satisfaction the success of the collaborative efforts by the Nigerian Army, the Borno governor and the UN team in Nigeria.

“It also noted the efforts to re-establish trust, confidence and cooperation, between the Nigerian Army and the UN in Maiduguri.

“The Federal Government appreciates the vital support being provided by the UN and other humanitarian organisations in addressing the humanitarian crisis in the north east east of the country,” she said.

Meanwhile, following intervention of the Borno State government, the UN has resumed its humanitarian operations in the state.

UN Deputy Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, Peter Lundberg made the announcement at a joint press briefing with Governor Kashim Shettima at the UN camp in Maiduguri at the weekend.

He said: “I am very pleased to report that our relationship of collaboration and trust is intact.

“At this stage we are focused on the work ahead to ensure that the millions of vulnerable people in the northeast are supported with life-saving humanitarian aid”.

Lundberg, who thanked Shettima for his intervention, noted that “Responding to the humanitarian needs of millions of people in the northeast remains our priority and our focus, each and every day”.

“The fact remains that the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s north-east and the Lake Chad region – now in its eighth year – is one of the most severe in the world today”.

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