The United Nations have confimred that atleast 110 rice farmers were killed during an attack on by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Garin Kwashebe in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
KanyiDaily had reported how Boko Haram terrorists beheaded 43 rice farmers on Saturday in Zabarmari, less than 20 km from Maiduguri, where Nigerian Army has used as headquarters in the ongoing war against insurgency.
Although a member of the state Civilian Joint Task Force, Babakura Kolo, said 43 farmers were killed, the United Nations insisted that atleast 110 rice farmers lost their lives during the attack.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, also said, many other persons were injured in the deadly attack by the terrorist group.
“I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri. At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,”he said.
He disclosed that the afternoon attack was carried out by armed men on motorcycles, who murdered men and women, who were harvesting their fields in Kwashebe and other rural communities in the Jere Local Government Area.
Kallon, while condoling with the government and people of Nigeria, also said many women might have been kidnapped during the attack.
“We have also received reports that several women may have been kidnapped. I call for their immediate release and return to safety. My thoughts are also with the rural communities in the area, who are shocked by the brutality of yesterday’s (Saturday’s) attack and fear for their safety.”
“The entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State are outraged by the incident. Such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing, and which we are striving to alleviate.”
The UN described the incident as “the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year,” and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
“It is, unfortunately, one of too many such attacks targeting farmers, fishermen and families who are trying to recover some livelihood opportunities after over a decade of conflict. I strongly condemn this attack and any act of violence against innocent civilians and I firmly urge all actors on the ground to respect international laws and humanity,” the UN official stressed.
The global organisation observed that rural communities in Borno State were facing untold hardships, adding that helping them to farm land and rebuild livelihoods were amongst the UN priorities and the only way to avoid the looming food crisis in the state. It said civilians needed to be protected and spared from any kind of violence.
The statement read, “Innocent women, children and men desperately need food and other support and assistance, particularly at a time when we are recording some of the highest levels of food insecurity in Borno State. We owe to do our utmost to help them survive these difficult times.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has condemed the gruesome murder by Boko Haram, describing the killings as obnoxious, wicked, unwarranted, and morally reprehensible.