THE Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) has condemned the killing of over 50 Nigerians in Rann, Borno State, on Sunday May 22.
Terrorists believed to be members of the Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP) reportedly carried out the killing during an attack on Rann, the headquarters of Kalabalge Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State.
Reacting to the development, CIVIC, in a statement signed by Sarem Ugoh, condemned the killing of unarmed civilians.
“We utterly condemn this attack and urge all parties to the conflict, state and non-state armed actors alike, to refrain from targeting and harming civilians. The perpetrators of civilian killings should be held accountable,” the civil society organisation said.
CIVIC noted that civilians have borne the brunt of the insurgency in Borno and other parts of the North-East.
“This attack is only one among many attacks that continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of civilians in North-East Nigeria.
“Nearly 13 years after the start of the armed insurgency, women, men, and children are still living in fear, fleeing from one location to another and wondering when and where the next attack will be.
“Since 2009, Nigeria’s North-East and Borno State in particular have been the center of an armed insurgency. Millions have been displaced and some 350,000 people have died from attacks and the subsequent humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations.”
Stressing the need to build the confidence of the civilian population, CIVIC urged the Nigerian Army to scale up the patrols in the area.
The statement added that the Nigerian military should also consult civilian communities affected by the recent attack and other incidents about measures that could be taken to strengthen their self-protection strategies.
CIVIC, in the same vein, assured communities in the North-East that it would work towards improving security in the region by providing advice to the army and other security agencies.
“Since 2018, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) has engaged with communities, the military, and community militias in the North-East to improve the protection of civilians.
“Recognising that civilians are the best agents of their own protection, CIVIC supports civilians to advocate for their protection, including with state and non-state security forces. In parallel, CIVIC provides training and advice to Nigerian security forces to further their efforts to better protect civilian,” the statement added.
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M