The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, has condemned the multiple suicide bombings that reportedly claimed the lives of at least 30 civilians and injured more than 40 others on the evening of Sunday, June 16, 2019.
The attacks took place in the Mandarari community of Konduga Local Government Area, less than 40 kilometers away from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
It was reported that the series of attacks targeted civilians, who were gathered in a sports viewing hall to watch a televised football match, as well as a nearby cafe.
Among the deceased, it was reported, was a community volunteer who was contributing to the humanitarian response in North-east Nigeria, and those seriously injured as a result of the bomb blasts were transported to Maiduguri for medical treatment.
Kallon, in a statement, said: “This is another terribly sad day for civilians in North-east Nigeria and for the humanitarians who are working to help them. The UN and its partners deplore these abhorrent acts of violence and call for those responsible for these attacks to be swiftly brought to justice. Our deepest condolences go to the families of the victims in Konduga. We hope all those injured can access the urgent medical attention they require and wish them a full recovery.”
The statement noted that the humanitarian crisis in North-east Nigeria is one of the most severe in the world – and is first and foremost a protection crisis.
It recalled that: “Since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 27,000 people have been killed. Women, men and children face grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law every day.
“Targeted attacks on civilians constitute a grave violation of international humanitarian law. The UN and its partners in Nigeria consistently urge all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and comply fully with international human rights and international humanitarian law.”
The UN Secretary-General, in a statement on June 17, also condemned the attacks against civilians in Konduga, reiterating the solidarity of the United Nations with the people and Government of Nigeria.
NAN reports that the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in its report said 30 persons were killed and 42 others injured in multiple bomb blasts that rocked a Borno village on Sunday night.
according to several reports, three children two girls and a boy (ages unknown) were used to detonate explosives that killed 30 people and injured 40 others at a community football viewing centre in Konduga in Borno state.
Mr Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, in a statement released in Maiduguri on Tuesday, said: ”UNICEF appeals to all those involved in this terrible conflict to protect children at all times and to keep them out of harm’s way.
This incident brings the number of children who have been reported as having been used as human bombs to five, since January 2019.
”In 2018, 48 children including 38 girls were used in suicide attacks.
“We again call on all parties to the conflict in north-east Nigeria to immediately cease all attacks against civilians, to stop using children in this conflict, and to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.” he said
“While UNICEF sends its condolences to all those who have been killed or injured in this horrific incident, It is unacceptable that children should be used in this way.”
NAN reports that UNICEF in a report said children were used in suicide attacks in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
The UNICEF said that since 2012, non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children.
Some of the girls, the UN agency said had become pregnant in captivity and give birth without any medical care or attention In the ongoing armed conflict in north-east Nigeria, more than 3,500 children were recruited and used by non-state armed groups between 2013 and 2017.
The use of children in suicide attacks by armed groups as person-borne explosive devices significantly increased from 2014 to 2017.
In 2018, it said a total 48 children (38 girls) were used in suicide attacks whilst 146 (45 boys, 101 girls) children were used in the same way in 2017.
In first quarter 2019,it added two girls were reported to have been used as ”human bombs”.