By Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), have condemned the attack in Koshobe, Borno State, in which several lives were lost.
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, in a statement issued in Abuja, said he was 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,” Kallon said.
He recalled that in early afternoon of 28 November, armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields in Koshobe and other rural communities in Jere Local Government Area.
Kallon added that reports the UN received indicated that the innocent farmers were the victims of the callous violence.
“I extend my sincere condolences to the families of the civilians who lost their lives in this atrocious attack. I also wish a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the incident.
“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 attack and fear for their safety,” Kallon also said.
Kallon further said the entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State was outraged by the incident.
He added that such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardized the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing, and which the UN is striving to alleviate.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice.
“It is unfortunately one of too many such attacks targeting farmers, fishermen and families who are trying to recover some livelihood opportunity 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.
“Rural communities in Borno State are facing untold hardships. Helping them to farm land and rebuild livelihoods are amongst our priorities and the only way to avoid the looming food crisis in Borno State. They and all other civilians need to be protected and spared from any kind of violence.
“Innocent women, children and men desperately need food and other support and assistance, particularly at a time when we are recording some of the highest levels of food insecurity in Borno State. We owe to do our utmost to help them survive these difficult times,” Kallon further said.
In his reaction, the EU Foreign Policy and Security Spokesperson, Mr Josep Borrell, in a tweet, said: “Deeply shocked by yet another horrific attack targeting innocent civilians in the North-East of #Nigeria.
“We have to continue our collective engagement against terror and violence to provide peace, security and stability for all people in Africa.”