Rann Attacks: How Soak-away Saved UN Officials From Boko Haram
More information has emerged on the attacks by Boko Haram on Rann in Borno State.
Two times was the community hit in one month, as the splinter group of Boko Haram, the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), push for an Islamic State in Nigeria's northeast.
On January 14 and 27, the community was under intense attack by non-State armed groups and officials of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were not spared.
These attacks have left relief workers unsure about the extent of needs among some communities within the region, the UN migration agency’s top official in the country said on Tuesday.
Chief of Mission of the IOM, Frantz Celestin, shared IOM official's ordeal with UN News’s Daniel Johnson.
Celestin said the extremists’ use of “hit-and-run” tactics, and explained what the priorities were now for the aid teams coping with mass displacement and overcrowded protection camps.
Mechanisms Of War
"What we have seen is that they have deployed various mechanisms of war - motorbikes, trucks, they are highly mobile - and the tactics they use is hit-and-run.
"Rann was attacked on the 14 and 27 of January.
"The first case, one of our guys was shot in the right shoulder, as he was trying to run away, the other five survived by hiding in the septic tank.
"They tried to burn down our compound. They burnt down our generator.
"They took 2,000 litres of fuel from us. They ransacked the place.
"The second time, we had one person left on the ground and he was displaced across the border in Cameroon.
"The first six were brought back to Maiduguri, the last one that was left on the ground, decided to stay because he wanted to stay with the family, but he could not stay in the last attack because almost everybody was forced out of Rann," Celestin stated.
On the nature of things in the northeast, Celestin said: "At the moment, there is no humanitarian that is providing support on the ground.
"The last count of what we had was that there were a lot of people moving across the border into Cameroon.
"More than 1.8 million people have been displaced (since the crisis started nearly 10 years ago)".
The IOM official then made a request from the Nigerian government and international community.
"We expect security of all those that have been displaced. to provide security for humanitarian groups to enable them provide support.
"We are calling on everybody to respect the basic human rights of the Nigerian people and those in the northeast."
He also emphasised that the harmattan in the region was also preventing the IOM and other humanitarian agencies from operating in a fluid manner.
"It is a cloud of dust hanging over that prevents helicopters from flying.
"It limits what we can do.
"We watch the weather on a daily basis to see when to fly and how fast we can get back," he added.
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