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UN withdraws 260 aid workers from Nigeria

Aid workers fear attacks by Boko Haram

UN withdraws 260 aid workers from Nigeria

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria

At least 260 UN aid workers have been withdrawn from Nigeria’s northeast over fears of attacks by Boko Haram militants, a spokesman said.

Samantha Newport, UN spokeswoman in Nigeria, said in a statement late Wednesday that a spike in militant activists in the region is a major setback for delivery of humanitarian services to thousands of displaced persons.

“Some 260 aid workers have been withdrawn from three local government areas (Monguno, Kala/Balge and Kukawa) affected by the conflict since November, affecting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people,” according to the statement.

“Clashes on December 26, 2018, between Nigerian government forces and non-state armed groups in Baga town, on the shores of Lake Chad, about 200 kilometres north of state capital Maiduguri, triggered the massive displacement, with most women, men and children converging on already congested camps for internally displaced people in Maiduguri or Monguno town.”

The statement said the clashes have had devastating effects on the citizens in the affected areas.

The withdrawal comes a few weeks after the army ordered UNICEF out of the region over alleged sabotage, a decision that had since been rescinded.

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