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Nigerian Army, United Nations at Loggerheads Over Invasion of Premises in Maiduguri

12 August 2017

A statement by UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, revealed that the search could be extremely detrimental to the work the organisation is doing in the state.

But the United Nations, in a statement said its Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, stated that the search was without authorisation.

The UN has accused the army of invading the building, which is used as its humanitarian base, without authorisation.

The military said yesterday in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lt Col Kingsley Samuel: "As part of ongoing counter-insurgency operations, the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole has been conducting several clearance as well as cordon-and-search operations in urban and rural areas within the Theatre".

While the United Nations now does not have any information related to the unauthorized search, the statement added, Mr. Kallon will seek an explanation for its motivation.

"The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria's northeast is one of the most severe in the world today".

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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.

Nigerian forces conducted an unauthorized dawn raid on the UN's main base in the country's conflict-torn northeast on Friday (Saturday in Manila), the United Nations said, further inflaming tensions between the government and aid groups.

The Army stated, "It has forced the Boko Haram terrorists to change tactics and resort to the employment of suicide bombers to target military locations and the populace".

He stressed that the condone and search operation was not specifically targeted at the United Nations facility, but rather done in the general area of operation.

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.

Attahiru noted that the house in question does not bear United Nations designation; we later discovered that the building housed some staff of United Nations humanitarian agency.

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According to him, the military recorded significant success in various operations conducted in the theatre in the past two weeks.

"On the whole, operation in the general area was successfully concluded, but no arrest was made because the suspects were not found", the statement said.

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.

He warned against peddling of rumours that could cause disaffection among the various ethnic and religious groups of people in the state.

Commenting on the raid on United Nations facility in Maiduguri, Attahiru said that the action was based on intelligence report made available to the military and not meant to tarnish the image of the UN.

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Nigerian Army, United Nations at Loggerheads Over Invasion of Premises in Maiduguri