UN Says 110 Borno Farmers, Not Just 43 Killed in Zabarmari
The United Nations on Sunday said 110 rice farmers lost their lives during Saturday’s attack by terrorists in Zabarmari, Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, contrary to earlier reports that put the figure at 43.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, who disclosed this, also said, many other persons were injured in the deadly attack by the terrorist group.
Equally, the Amnesty International in a tweet on Sunday disclosed that 16 of the victims were internally displaced persons.
In a statement on Sunday titled ‘Statement On Attack Against Civilians In Koshobe, Borno,’ Kallon, said “I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri. At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”
He explained that the afternoon attack was carried out by armed men on motorcycles, who murdered men and women, who were harvesting their fields in Kwashebe and other rural communities in the Jere Local Government Area, adding that many women might have been kidnapped during the attack.
He said, “We have also received reports that several women may have been kidnapped. I call for their immediate release and return to safety. My thoughts are also with the rural communities in the area, who are shocked by the brutality of yesterday’s (Saturday’s) attack and fear for their safety.
“The entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State are outraged by the incident. Such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing, and which we are striving to alleviate.
“It is, unfortunately, one of too many such attacks targeting farmers, fishermen and families who are trying to recover some livelihood opportunities after over a decade of conflict. I strongly condemn this attack and any act of violence against innocent civilians and I firmly urge all actors on the ground to respect international laws and humanity,” the UN official stressed.
The UN observed that rural communities in Borno State were facing untold hardships, adding that helping them to farm land and rebuild livelihoods were amongst the UN priorities and the only way to avoid the looming food crisis in the state.