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Stay away from north-east conflict zones, Buratai tells aid organisations

Stay away from north-east conflict zones, Buratai tells aid organisations
February 22
09:31 2020

The Nigerian army has advised international aid organisations to stay away from conflict zones in the north-east so as not to be victims of the crisis.

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Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, said this on Friday when he received officials of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) better known as Doctors Without Borders, at the army headquarters in Abuja.

Buratai said the security of international and local aid workers was a top priority of the Nigerian government.

Represented by Lamidi Adeosun, chief of army policy and plans, Buratai asked them to avoid actions that would expose them to danger.

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He said the aid workers should avoid conflict areas because the Boko Haram insurgents “carry out attacks indiscriminately”.

“Despite your neutrality and impartiality at times, situations make it difficult for you to have the reach you would like to have – neutrally without any security man or apparatus seen around you, ” he said.

“To the terrorists, everything is a target; they don’t know what it is to even attack you as a group that is concerned and responsible for their well-being, because they are not trained in that manner; they are only trained to kill.”

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He, however, said the military would continue to ensure adequate security for members of the organisation to help them alleviate the plight of persons affected by the insurgency.

“We must continue to operate with understandings so that while you are providing succour for the people, you also don’t come into harm’s way, ” he said.

Kristos Christi, MSF president, said the group visited to solicit the army’s support to provide medical assistance to thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the north-east.

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