Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

UN Coordinator Demands Explanation From Nigeria Over Illegal Search Of Humanitarian Base

UN Coordinator Demands Explanation From Nigeria Over Illegal Search Of Humanitarian Base

Nigerian security forces entered the United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri without authorisation.

Kallon expressed displeasure over the search, according to a statement issued in Maiduguri to journalists yesterday by the Head of Communications, Samantha Newports.

The statement said the army carried out a search on the property because it had credible intelligence that some Boko Haram insurgents had infiltrated the area.

"The United Nations does not have any information at this time regarding the reason or motivations for the unauthorized search".

Kallon then called on the Nigerian government to provide clarification on why the building was invaded.

The Army, in a statement on Friday, defended its action, saying the action was part of counter-insurgency activities of its Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole. Samuel Kingsley, the spokesperson, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, said that it received intelligence that high profile Boko Haram members had infiltrated the area, hence the cordon and search operation on about 30 houses, including the United Nations base.

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He, however, noted that the operation was necessitated by the need to intensify cordon and search operation in Maiduguri metropolis and its environs, listing other areas affected by the operation as Jiddari-Polo, Muna Garage, Jakana, among others.

"It therefore became expedient to take preemptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operations".

The commander added that about 30 houses were searched during the exercise, adding that no arrests were made.

The UN Staff said the soldiers forced their way into the building.

We can't wait to see how this saga would play out.

"The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and the Designated Official for security in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, is liaising with the Government of Nigeria".

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He said, "Notwithstanding, the search operation was conducted peacefully at the premises, when the troops were allowed into it, just like other buildings".

Within minutes of the raid, rumour spread across the country of the "arrest" of Boko Haram leader, Ahmed Shekau.

In a statement emailed to journalists on Saturday morning, Shettima's spokesman, Isa Gusau, said given the critical intervention humanitarian workers have making in the affairs of internally displaced persons, Governor Kashim Shettima was anxious and had to place a phone call with ‎the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed.

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He observed that the military might not have informed the United Nations about its plans based on the time frame of the intelligence at its disposal. If they suspected that someone is hiding in the building, they could search it and I don't think the United Nations should object since they are working towards the same goal of fighting insurgency. Later, she did not pick calls to her mobile phone.

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