UN "horrified" by killing of five aid workers in Nigeria


The United Nations has said it is "utterly shocked and horrified" by the killing of five aid workers by unknown armed groups in north-eastern Nigeria.

"They were committed humanitarians who devoted their lives to helping vulnerable people and communities in an area heavily affected by violence," UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The statement follows the release of a video showing the brutal killing of five aid workers kidnapped last month in north-eastern Borno State by what are believed to be Islamist terrorists.

President Muhammadu Buhari identified the victims as employees of Nigeria's State Emergency Management Agency as well as international aid organisations Action Against Hunger, International Rescue Committee and Rich International. The Nigerian government would do everything to ensure "the perpetrators of this atrocity face the law," Buhari said in a statement.

The aid workers were abducted while travelling on a main route connecting the town of Monguno with Borno state capital Maiduguri last month.

"Their safety and securing their safe release have been our highest priority since they were captured last month," Kallon said. The coordinator said he was troubled by the number of illegal checkpoints set up by non-state armed groups along the region's main supply routes, which disrupt the delivery of life-saving assistance and heighten the risks for civilians of being abducted, killed or injured.

Some 10.6 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian aid due to armed conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the UN. (dpa)

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