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UN urges parties in conflicts to desist from war crimes

By Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri
19 August 2017   |   4:32 am
Kallon made the call in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday, while addressing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Bakassi Camp to commemorate the World Humanitarian Day.

Kallon made the call in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday, while addressing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Bakassi Camp to commemorate the World Humanitarian Day.

The United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordination for Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, has called on all parties in conflicts in the country to “henceforth desist from war crimes” by protecting civilians and guard against unleashing pains and traumas on them.

Kallon made the call in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday, while addressing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Bakassi Camp to commemorate the World Humanitarian Day.

He said there was urgent need to respect the law guiding wars in any part of the world, adding: “UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has published his first report on the protection of civilians. He calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law and protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical workers, as well as civilian infrastructure.

“He also calls for the prevention of forced displacement and durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons.” Kallon also lamented the increase in suicide bombings in the northeast, which has led to many civilian casualties, saying: “Here in the northeast of Nigeria, civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict. Women, men and children face grave human rights violations and sexual and gender-based violence.

“Since the start of the conflict in 2009, over 20,000 people have been killed, thousands of women and girls have been abducted and children continue to be used on a regular basis as so-called “suicide” bombers.”

He said hundreds of families have been forced to flee their villages, rather than build their homes, livelihoods and communities. On accessibility of liberated communities, he said: “At the same time, health and aid workers, who care for people affected by violence, are affected by the lack of security, which constrains our access to desperately vulnerable communities. People must be put first.”

On the World Humanitarian Day, which holds worldwide today, he said: “Every year, the World Humanitarian Day brings the world together to rally support for people affected by humanitarian crisis and pay tribute to aid workers who help them.

“This World Humanitarian Day in Nigeria, we come together to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget.“I should also like to reiterate the UN solidarity and support to the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism.”