The international NGO community in Nigeria has demanded for the release of the remains of the five aid workers executed by terrorists in Borno State to their families and calls for the unconditional and immediate release of other two aid workers whose whereabouts remain unknown.
A statement by Moshood Raimi, Senior Information Management Officer, Nigeria INGO Forum and made available to Newspot on Friday, said, since the beginning of 2019, eight aid workers were executed following their abduction, while the whereabouts of two others remain unknown.
The forum, which strongly condemns the execution of the abducted staff of Action Against Hunger (AAH-ACF), ACTED/REACH, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and an employee of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), added that, the brutal act by the terrorist group is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime as per United Nations Security Council Resolution 1502 of 2003.
“Our colleagues were abducted on June 1 and 8 by a non-state armed group on the road between Monguno and Maiduguri (Borno State) and were gruesomely executed by their captors despite calls for their release.
“They had dedicated their lives to providing life-saving assistance to the millions of vulnerable people affected by a decade-long, protracted armed conflict in north-east Nigeria. We condemn, in totality, this atrocity, and stand in solidarity with their families and with ACF, ACTED, IRC and SEMA,” the forum said.
According to the forum, “today, there are over ten million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the ongoing conflict in northeast Nigeria, yet INGOs that strive to deliver life-saving support are faced with an increasingly dangerous environment and have become direct targets.
“This is unacceptable: aid workers are not a target. Attacks on aid workers result in the loss of life of those who dedicated their lives to support others, and deprive people of desperately needed assistance and access to basic services.
“We urge all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligation to provide safe, unhindered access of humanitarian actors to all the people in need of assistance, and to stop all barbaric acts targeting humanitarian workers. We also call on all parties to the conflict to fulfill their obligation of protecting civilians,” the forum added.