July 23, 2024

Nigerian soldier kills UN aid worker, injures one other, govt reacts

A Nigerian soldier shot dead an aid worker, a soldier and wounded a co-pilot of a UN helicopter in Borno State, Nigeria.

On Thursday, at a military base in the northeast, “a soldier shot and killed a staff member of one of the NGOs providing humanitarian aid” in the region, said the spokesman for the anti-jihadist military operation, Samson Nantip Zhakom.

“The same soldier also killed another soldier and wounded the co-pilot of one of the UN helicopters,” Zhakom said in a statement, adding that the co-pilot’s condition was “stable”.

The statement added that the soldier was then “immediately neutralised” by his colleagues, without giving further details on the killings and the killer’s motive.

The bodies of the two victims were taken to a military hospital, Zhakom said.

The army has announced an investigation. There was no immediate comment from the authorities.

Since 2009, Nigeria’s armed forces have struggled to fight the Islamic State and Boko Haram jihadist groups leading an insurgency northeast of Africa’s most populous country.

The conflict, which has left more than 40,000 people dead and two million displaced, has created one of the worst global humanitarian crises of the 21st century.

Reacting to the ugly incident, the state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum condoled with the United Nations as he noted that the “isolated incident” may not be unconnected from the soldier’s mental health.

Zulum addressed the letter to the UN’s resident representative in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale. The letter, titled “condolence and solidarity” was dated Friday, November 18, 2022.

The letter reads: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the incident that happened in Damboa yesterday (Thursday). My condolence goes to the family of Mrs. Alem Muluseta, her colleagues at Medicine de Monde (DM), the whole Humanitarian Community and the United Nations, who continually make huge sacrifices to support our people”.

“My condolence also goes to the families of gallant soldiers who lost their lives in trying to restrain the perpetrator.”

“This was a sad isolated incidence, the like of which we have not seen before, and which may not be unconnected with the mental health of the soldier involved”.

“The injured pilot has been adequately attended to and he is recovering well. We will do all we can to continue to support him to get what he needs until he recovers”.

“I want to assure our partners and the general public that this is an isolated incidence and the military is investigating what happened.”

“We remain confident that our Military and other security agencies are committed to ensure peace and security of lives and property in Borno state.”

“We will continue to work together with the Military, and our partners to support Mental Health Programs in the Theatre.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *