UN Begins Evacuation Of Aid Workers From Northern Borno After Terrorist Attack

This is the second attack within 24 hours and the fourth of its kind in 2021.

The United Nations (UN) has commenced evacuation of aid workers out of humanitarian hubs in Monguno and Ngala, Northern Borno, Northeast Nigeria, following the recent overrunning of Dikwa and the siege on the organisation’s compound by terrorists.

HumAngle earlier reported that aid workers were forced to shelter in a bunker during a multipronged attack by insurgents belonging to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, which led to the capture of the garrison town.

The current onslaught by the terrorists is at least the fourth attack on Dikwa in 2021, with two of them happening within 24 hours.

At least two other Non-Governmental Organisations’ compounds housing offices and guesthouses were set ablaze by the insurgents during the attack. The insurgents also took four vehicles.

The last time an attack of this magnitude was in Sept. 2018 in Baga.

HumAngle learnt that the UN initiated the evacuation of aid workers from the humanitarian hubs in the garrison towns of Monguno and Ngala over fears the overrunning of Dikwa poses due to the proximity to the two towns.

A source informed HumAngle that the connection was lost with the hub in Dikwa around midnight.

UN facilities in recent times have suffered attacks, leading to the deaths of aid workers and the abduction of others.

In June 2020, ISWAP members attacked the humanitarian hub in Monguno from two entry points, where over 50 aid workers were present when the attack was conducted, the UN said.

Similarly, on Jan. 18 2020, a whole section of a humanitarian hub in Ngala, close to the Cameroonian border, was set on fire. The five workers in the compound at the time escaped unscathed.

Another similar attack in Rann, Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno State also saw an attack that led to the deaths of four Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and a badly damaged hub belonging to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

Hafsah Abubakar Matazu

Hafsah Abubakar Matazu is the Head of the Humanitarian and Development Desk at HumAngle, focusing on both international and national organisations providing aid, as well as contributing to the response to the crisis in Nigeria and Africa as a whole especially where it comes to insecurity. Her reporting also extends to foreign missions and other diplomatic relations in this regard.

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