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UN condemns attack on civilians in north-east Nigeria
by Yassine Gaba
UN Humanitarian Coordinator
2 April 2018
Denouncing an attack on civilians in Nigeria’s restive north-east region, a senior United Nations humanitarian official has called on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and ensure the protection of civilians.
According to reports, at least 34 people were killed and over 90 injured in the attack that took place on 1 April near Belle Village, in the outskirts of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.
“Innocent civilians continue to suffer daily from direct and indiscriminate attacks in north-east Nigeria [and] endless numbers of explosions, brutal killings, abductions and lootings continue to uproot the lives of women, children and men daily,” said Yassine Gaba, the acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator, in a news release on Monday.
“I call on all parties to the conflict to end this violence and to respect human life and dignity.”
The situation in north-east Nigeria has witnessed a steady deterioration over the past few weeks, particularly in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
Since the beginning of the year, at least 120 women, children and men are reported to have been killed and over 210 seriously injured, in over 22 attacks allegedly carried out by non-state armed groups directly targeting civilians.
Of particular concern is the safety of women and girls, who remain at a constant threat of grave human rights abuses and gender-based violence as well as of abduction.
On 19 February, 110 school girls were abducted in an attack in Dapchi, Yobe state. In 2014, the region witnessed one of the worst such incidents in which over 270 girls were abducted from a government school in Chibok.
Violence and insecurity in the region has left close to 7.7 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance – especially food, shelter, water, healthcare and protection.
Since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed; thousands of girls, women, boys and men have been abducted; and children continue to be used routinely as so-called “suicide” bombers.
Gaza, A troubling human toll
by International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the human toll of the violence on the border of Gaza and Israel, in particular, the high number of casualties.
On 30 March, following the violent events which took place in Gaza at multiple locations along the border fence with Israel, approximately 1400 people required medical assistance, with approximately 800 injuries resulting from the use of live ammunition.
“The human toll demonstrates the importance for all sides to take all possible precautions to minimise exposure to harm and casualties among the civilian population,” said Fabrice Edouard, acting Head of ICRC Sub Delegation in Gaza. “We recognize Israel’s security concerns, yet it is imperative that lethal force only be used as a last resort and when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life."
The ICRC takes note of the strong emergency response of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), also made possible through continued ICRC facilitation with all parties of its ambulance and personnel movements.
The ICRC also provides material and technical support to the PRCS and hospitals in Gaza in their emergency response.
“The influx of casualties is also straining an over-burdened and under-resourced medical system,” Edouard added.
To date, the ICRC has donated urgent surgical equipment, drugs and disposables, and mobility devices required for the comprehensive treatment of more than 800 patients.
As part of its work, the ICRC acts as a neutral intermediary and maintains a confidential dialogue with all relevant authorities and security forces to try to minimise the impact of violence on civilians and preserve a humanitarian space where health actors can operate safely. http://bit.ly/2H2DPqE
* UN human rights experts point out that, while Israel is entitled to take measures to ensure its security, it must be guided by international human rights law in the force that it employs, exercising restraint and resorting to the use of lethal force only against an imminent threat of death or serious injury. http://bit.ly/2IyN7HY http://bit.ly/2GEvBFD
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