ABUJA, 30 November 2020 – The international NGO community in Nigeria is shocked by the attack by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) of Saturday 28 November, 2020 in the village of Koshobe, Jere Local Government Area, Borno State. The attack resulted in at least 86 civilians killed, with unconfirmed reports of more people missing and injured.
The Nigeria INGO Forum (NIF) expresses its condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wishes fast recovery to those who were injured.
In North East Nigeria, civilians continue to suffer from the devastating consequences of the more than decade-long armed conflict and to pay the price for the blatant violations of international law that provide for their protection -- at least 36,000 civilians were killed in the region since the beginning of the conflict.
Since the beginning of the farming season in June 2020 alone, more than a hundred farmers have been killed across Borno State. Those figures and the fact that a similar attack was recorded last year indicate that this is not a standalone attack but a concerning trend related to people accessing farmland. In addition to its inhumane brutality, this type of attacks endangers food security in the North East -- only three months ago the United Nations warned that the conflict in the North East has put Nigeria among the countries most at risk of famine. Such attacks represent, together with the threat caused by explosive remnants of war, the main reasons why safe access to farming land is constrained. In an area where farming represents the main source of livelihoods, projections for the coming months show that food security indicators risk dropping to food crisis levels -- or famine in case of major shocks. While humanitarian organisations (including NIF members) support food security and livelihoods programmes in the area, the sustainability of assistance is hindered by the deteriorating security situation at a time when humanitarian needs are on the rise.
The Nigeria INGO Forum and its 54 INGO members:
- Strongly condemn the intentional killing of civilians, as well as the terrorizing of the civilian population in the North East, recalling that these acts are serious crimes under international law.
- Urge all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and to take all appropriate measures to ensure the protection of civilians and their adequate access to food and livelihood.
- Call the international community to advance dialogue between parties towards finding political solutions to bring an end to the 11-year conflict and violence in North East Nigeria.
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Cadre Harmonisé, October 2020, available at: https://fscluster.org/nigeria/document/october-2020-cadre-harmonize-ch-fiche