Clashes between insurgent groups and Nigerian armed forces in Borno State are hampering humanitarian assistance, said a UN spokesman on Friday.
UN humanitarian workers in Nigeria continue to receive alarming reports of clashes between insurgent groups and Nigerian armed forces in the town of Damasak in Borno State. Recently, non-state armed groups have also been conducting house-to-house searches, reportedly looking for civilians identified as aid workers, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
A week ago, humanitarian assets in Damasak were targeted. At least five nongovernmental organization (NGO) offices and several NGO vehicles, as well as a mobile storage unit, water tanks, a health outpost and a nutrition stabilization center were damaged. More clashes were reported this week, he said.
These attacks will affect humanitarian assistance and protection to nearly 9,000 internally displaced persons and 76,000 people in the host community, he warned.
The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said Friday that up to 80 percent of the population in Damasak has been forced to flee. While many fled toward Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, and to Geidam town in neighboring Yobe State. Other people crossed into Niger, the spokesman told a daily press briefing.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Niger is planning an inter-agency mission with the UNHCR and local authorities. Humanitarians in Nigeria and Niger have deployed assessment missions to identify the most pressing needs along the border, he said. Enditem