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Thursday, 4 March 2021

ISWAP attack in Dikwa could cut off aid to thousands of IDPs – International NGOs


The Nigerian International NGO Forum (NIF) has expressed its fear with the recent attack by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction of Boko Haram on a UN base and a humanitarian hub in Dikwa community of Borno state. 


In a statement released on March 3, NIF said thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Dikwa and surrounding communities in Borno State could be plunged into more hardship following the attack. 


The group described Dikwa as a congestion hotspot and further cited a United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report which estimated the population of the town to be 114,000, including over 75,000 displaced people.


It read;


“We are saddened by the loss of lives, the repeated displacement of population, and the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure and critical aid facilities. 

“Dikwa is a congestion hotspot. Many of those IDPs have already been subjected to multiple displacements, including the over 3,000 IDPs who, only two weeks ago, fled Marte (to which they had been relocated in December) to due to another attack. 

“In the more than a decade-long armed conflict in north-east Nigeria, civilians continue to suffer from its devastating consequences and to pay the price for the blatant violations of international law that provides for their protection.”


HumAngle reported that the group stated that the burning of the hospital in Dikwa by ISWAP, was a violation of international humanitarian law which protects civilian infrastructure. It condemned the targeting of humanitarian facilities in a region (Northeast Nigeria) where already 8.7 million people are in urgent need of support.


The statement added; 


“The Nigeria INGO Forum is horrified and saddened that these attacks would cut-off a very vulnerable population from the much-needed life-saving support provided by aid workers… It is regrettable and unacceptable that aid workers offering these life-saving assistances are also increasingly becoming direct targets. 

“The Nigeria INGO Forum and its 54 members strongly urge all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and to take all appropriate measures to ensure the protection of civilians, civilian infrastructure, and aid workers.”


NIF urged that all parties to the conflict allow humanitarian workers to have full access to victims of war who are in need of critical assistance, in line with international legal obligations.


The statement added; 


“Humanitarian workers are not a target."




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