24 October 2018 |
Boko Haram fighters
• UN urges improved security
• ‘Killing of farmers threatens food security’
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents in a convoy of gun trucks and motorcycles attacked Mifah community on Monday in Borno State, killing two villagers. Mifah is near Chibok, where the insurgents abducted 276 students on April 14, 2014.
The insurgents, according to a civilian joint task force (JTF) member, Yohanna Isa, are suspected to be from the camp of Abubakar Shekau, a Boko Haram factional leader hibernating in Sambisa Forest.Isa said: “The terrorists burst from the eastern flank of Sambisa, killing two people. They also looted the village and torched it before fleeing into the forests.”
The Guardian learnt that troops were stationed in Chibok since the abduction of the schoolgirls in 2014.The United Nations Humanitarian Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon, has urged the Federal Government and security forces to scale up efforts in the protection of civilians against attacks in Borno and Kaduna states.
Kallon warned that, if unchecked, the attacks might reverse the gains made so far in securing lives and property in the region.His spokesman, Lucky Musonda, stated yesterday in Maiduguri, expressed grave concern over news of renewed killings by Boko Haram.
“It has been reported that close to 40 lives were lost in separate incidents over the last few days, when the group attacked civilians in Borno.
“While numerous efforts are underway to bring the crisis in the north
east to an end, I would like to appeal to the Government of
Nigeria and security forces in the region to scale up their efforts to protect civilian communities, especially in areas where sporadic attacks have been recorded recently.”
Meanwhile, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is horrified by the killing of farmers in Kalle village, Borno State, recently.It warned that the trend might lead to food crisis in the north east.An estimated 7.7 million people in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe now depend on humanitarian assistance for survival. NRC provides food and other sundry support to over 130,000 families displaced from their homes in the region.
“The level of violence registered lately in north east Nigeria is alarming. Farmers have been easy targets. These attacks may make people too afraid to cultivate their land and worsen the existing food crisis,” said NRC’s area manager, Anja Riiser, in Maiduguri,” she added.
The latest attack on farmers underscores the vulnerability of rural communities, even as the authorities are encouraging displaced people to return home to re-build their lives.
“We were on the farms when about 15 armed men surrounded us,” Haruna, who escaped the attack, told NRC. “They took the men to a tree and started slaughtering them like animals. They repeatedly said they would not allow any of us harvest the crops we cultivated this year.”