Military raids United Nations office in Borno

Military raids United Nations office in Borno

The Nigerian Army on Saturday expressed its readiness to collaborate with the United Nations (UN) humanitarian agencies to achieve the goals of the counter-insurgency campaign.

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 raid which is first of its kind since Humanitarian Workers and Non Governmental Organizations trooped into the state in the name of cartering for the well being of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the north east.

Nigerian forces conducted an unauthorized dawn raid on the UN's main base in the country's conflict-torn northeast on Friday (Saturday in Manila), the United Nations said, further inflaming tensions between the government and aid groups.

"I'm not here to elaborate on the incident, as his Excellency has already done this".

UN's Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon called the raid unauthorised and expressed "grave concern over the unauthorised search" of the United Nations base for humanitarian workers.

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

"Furthermore, the relationship between the Nigerian Military and United Nations has been cordial, aimed at working towards a more secured world in general and Nigeria in particular, which will be sustained".

According to him, the military recorded significant success in various operations conducted in the theatre in the past two weeks.

The commander added that about 30 houses were searched during the exercise, adding that no arrests were made.

"In the last one week, cordon and search operations were conducted in Jiddari-Polo, Muna Garage, and Jakana amongst several other areas".

Within minutes of the raid, rumour spread across the country of the "arrest" of Boko Haram leader, Ahmed Shekau.

"One of such included a property which was said to be occupied by United Nations Staff, although the property did not carry a UN designation".

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.

All UN staff members in Maiduguri were ordered to work from home by the note, which warned of demonstrations against the organisation and other foreign groups active in the area. Later, she did not pick calls to her mobile phone.