UAE Press: Boko Haram attack on civilians cowardly act

ABU DHABI, A UAE newspaper has said that innocent civilians continue to suffer from senseless, indiscriminate and monstrous attacks by militants in Nigeria and the matter should not be taken lightly anymore.

“The killing and wounding of several people by Boko Haram militants on Monday in coordinated attacks on a military camp and villages around the city of Maiduguri highlights the gravity of the situation,” said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Wednesday.

The paper added, “The brazen operation, which unfolded around the very city where Boko Haram was born, has turned the spotlight on the authorities’ struggle to quell the militants’ nearly nine-year-old offensive.

“Hundreds of thousands are holed up in Maiduguri, which is the capital of Borno state, where they are living in camps or with host families. The situation in north-east Nigeria has witnessed a steady deterioration over the past few weeks.”

The paper quoted Yassine Gaba, acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator, as saying that endless numbers of explosions, brutal killings, abductions and lootings continue to uproot the lives of women, children and men daily.

Since the beginning of the year, at least 120 women, children and men are reported to have been killed and over 210 seriously injured, in over 22 attacks allegedly carried out by non-state armed groups directly targeting civilians, as per UN officials.

“Of particular concern is the safety of women and girls, who remain at a constant threat of grave human rights abuses and gender-based violence as well as of abduction,” added the editorial comment.

It continued, “On 19th February, 110 school girls were abducted in an attack in Dapchi, Yobe state. In 2014, the region witnessed one of the worst such incidents in which over 270 girls were abducted from a school in Chibok.

“The conflict provoked by the Boko Haram terrorist group has triggered a deep humanitarian crisis. Since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed and thousands of women and girls abducted.

“Borno along with Adamawa and Yobe are the worst affected with nearly seven million people in need of humanitarian assistance, half of whom are children.”

“Attacks on civilians are just not acceptable under any circumstances. All parties involved in the conflict should immediately cease hostilities and ensure the protection of civilians,” concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

Source: Emirates News Agency