UN Coordinator killing of Aid Worker by soldier  "deeply disturbing and Sad"


Zagazola Makama


The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Matthias Schmale, has called for adequate protection for aid workers in the  North East.

Schmale made the call while reacting to the Thursday killing of an aid worker by a soldier , who ran amok in Damboa, Borno.


”The killing of a staff member of the humanitarian non-governmental organisation, Médecins du Monde in Damboa, Borno is deeply disturbing and sad.


“On behalf of the UN, I convey my heartfelt condolences to the aid worker’s family and to her colleagues. 

I also wish a speedy recovery to a pilot working with the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) who was injured in the deplorable attack by an apparently rogue soldier.


“All humanitarian staff working in the north-east of Nigeria, deserve our fullest respect for their courage and commitment to stay and deliver life-saving assistance to people in need in often difficult and dangerous circumstances. 


Humanitarian workers must be protected.

“I laud the Government and the military’s efforts to speedily investigate yesterday’s incident and urge them to strengthen remedial measures to prevent similar incidents in the future,” Schmale said.


It will recalled that a soldier of the 25 Task Force Brigade in Borno ran amok shot a female humanitarian aid worker to death while injuring a UN pilot. He would have taken more lives, but for the quick intervention of his colleagues who neutralised him.

It was  gathered that the soldier walked off his base in a remote town of Damboa in Borno, on Thursday and went on a shooting spree using an Ak47 riffle.


The development compelled humanitarian workers of an international non-governmental organisation waiting at the military base to board a helicopter back to Maiduguri to scamper to safety.


One of the humanitarian agencies’ workers, Mr Abdulkareem Ibrahim, told NAN that the soldier emptied his magazine and after realising that he had ran out of bullets, he brought out a jack knife.


“He stabbed a female staff of one of the international NGOs four times, killing her before injuring the helicopter pilot,’’ Ibrahim said.


Ibrahim added that the rampaging soldier again turned and chased his colleagues before he was gunned down to prevent further disaster.

He said that the pilots and the crew were safely back to Maiduguri while efforts were on-going to stabilise the wounded co-pilot at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.


But reacting to the incident, the Theatre Command of “Operation HADIN KAI’’, expressed regret at the sad occurrence at one of its military bases.


Maj. Samson Zhakom, Assistant Director, Army Public Relations. Headquarters, Theatre Command, said the soldier shot and killed a staff member of one of the NGOs providing humanitarian support in the Northeast.


“Same soldier also killed another soldier and injured the co-pilot of one of the UN helicopters. Own troops on the ground immediately neutralised the errant personnel,’’ he said.


He explained that the injured co-pilot had been stabilised while the corpses of the deceased have been moved to the 7 Division Hospital.

He added that detailed investigation into the incident and subsequent remedial actions had started.


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