UN chief condemns ‘appalling’ attacks in Nigeria

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. /VCG

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres has condemned the “appalling” attacks perpetrated over the weekend in Nigeria’s Zamfara State in which scores of civilians were killed.

According to news agencies, an estimated 200 people were killed, while 10,000 displaced in attacks by armed bandits, following military air raids on their hideouts last week.

In a statement, Guterres urged Nigerian authorities to “spare no effort in bringing those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice.”

At the same time, the UN chief also reaffirmed the solidarity and support of the United Nations to the Government and people of Nigeria, in their fight against terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime.

Northwest Nigeria has seen a sharp rise in mass abductions and other violent crimes since late 2020.

In April 2021, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned that years of insecurity had created a massive humanitarian emergency in the Lake Chad basin and uprooted some 3.3 million people.

In October, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned that displaced families in this part of the country were “knocking on the door of starvation”.

Bandits hoping to make quick cash by forcing the families and authorities to pay ransom money their hostages, often target institutions just out of reach of State control and usually in rural areas.