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United Nations expresses frowns over unauthorised invasion of Maiduguri base by security forces

13 August 2017, 07:42 | Taylor George

UN kicks as troops raid Nigeria's office for Shekau

Nigeria

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.

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. The Humanitarian Coordinator is working closely with the Government of Nigeria to resolve this issue.

At the end of the meeting, all those in attendance, including Shettima, proceeded to the United Nations property as a sign of good faith and to rebuild public confidence in humanitarian workers.

" I am very pleased to report that our relationship of collaboration and trust is intact, and at this stage, we are focused on the work ahead to ensure that the millions of vulnerable people in the Northeast are supported with life-saving humanitarian aid".

Shettima also put a call through to UN's Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, to reassure the organisation of government's commitment to safeguarding the lives of the humanitarian workers and ensuring respect for global protocol.

He said: "The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria's North-East is one of the most severe in the world today".

He said the military has recorded significant successes in its various operations in the theatre in over the last two weeks.

But the army said it was not aware that the building housed United Nations personnel, and described the global organisation as one of its strongest and worthy allies in the fight against Boko Haram.

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Police strongly denied rumours that a mosque was damaged during the gunfight between the security forces and the militants. The official further said that the cordon and search operation was still going on in the area.

"It has forced the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) to change tactics and resort to employment of suicide bombers to target military locations and the populace".

He said: "The condone and search operation was not specifically targeted at the United Nations facility, but rather done in the general area of operation". The operation was successfully conducted as over 30 houses were searched. Notwithstanding, the search operation was conducted peacefully at the premises, when the troops were allowed into it, just like other buildings.

The Nigerian military, which claimed there was no sign it was a United Nations camp, issued a statement Friday calling its "operation" a success but added that no suspect was found.

Kallon said the United Nations and more than 50 non-governmental humanitarian organisations were working in support of the Government of Nigeria to support the vulnerable in the North-East Nigeria.

The UN ordered local staff to work from home today following the incident.

"Peace building is a collective responsibility", he said in a statement.

When contacted about the development and government's position on it, the acting spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Jane Adam, said, "I will find out and get back to you". Later, she did not pick calls to her mobile phone.



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