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UN pledges to remain in N’East despite military raid on building

From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

The United Nations has pledged to continue its humanitarian support in the North-east despite the raid on its base by soldiers last Friday.

  UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, Peter Lundberge, at a joint press conference with Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, at the UN building yesterday in Maiduguri, said both the Nigerian government and the world humanitarian body had been enjoying good relationships in supporting victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east.

“I am very pleased to report that our relationship of collaboration and trust is in tact, and at this stage we are focused on the work ahead to ensure that the millions of vulnerable people in the North-east are supported with life-saving humanitarian aid,” Lundberge said.

  He maintained that the UN humanitarian agencies were more concerned on responses to the needs of the displaced Boko Haram victims rather than the invasion of their base by the military forces.

  He said he was “constantly struck” by the unusual strength often displayed by victims of insurgency in the North-east even in the midst of humanitarian challenges anytime he travels to any of the affected areas.

Shettima, in his speech, urged the UN not to be deterred by the incident. He appealed to the humanitarian bodies to continue their support to the people. He also described Lundberge as a friend of Nigerians and the North-east. 

  Soldiers of the Operation Lafiya Dole had raided the UN base, known as Red Roof, in Maiduguri early last Friday. The military claimed that it was conducting “cordon and search” following intelligence that some “high value Boko Haram terrorists” had infiltrated the city including the UN building which serves as the quarters and operational base for the world humanitarian organisation in the North-east.

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