Nigerian military raids United Nations camp for unclear reason


Maiduguri - A United Nations humanitarian official said on Saturday that relations with Nigeria remain "intact" following an unauthorised raid by Nigerian troops at a United Nations base in the country's conflict-torn northeast.

"Members of the Nigerian security forces entered a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri. without authorization", said Samantha Newport, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

" 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".

Nigeria's theater commander for the conflict with Boko Haram, Ibrahim Attahiru, told Reuters he did not know the reason for the raid on the United Nations compound.

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The organisation had suspended its activities to protest the raid which the army said was in search of high profile elements of the terror sect, Boko Haram, which informants claimed had infiltrated the part of the city where the building is located.

An army statement revealed, that the said building, housing United Nations staff, didn't carry a United Nations designation, and the operation was successfully concluded, but no arrest was made, because the suspects were not found.

Malam Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser on Communication to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, announced this in a statement in Maiduguri on Saturday.

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

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The Governor also convened an emergency security council meeting which in addition to heads of security establishments, was attended by the Deputy Governor of the State, Secretary to the Borno Government, as well as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

"We are working in the front line with the United Nations; it is complimenting the effort of the government by providing succour to the displaced victims. The raid should not have happened", he said at a daily briefing in NY on Friday.

The rumour was later dismissed as UN's Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon, called the raid unauthorized.

The raid could add tension to the relationship between the two institutions as each struggles to respond to an eight-year-old war with Boko Haram.

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The eight-year insurgency has driven at least 2 million people from their homes and nearly 7 million need humanitarian assistance.