UN Halts Air Operations In The North East Following Helicopter Attack

By Lillian Ogbonna (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Following an attack that resulted in damage to a United Nations Aid helicopter on Thursday in Damasak, Borno State, Edward Kallon, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, has halted operations of the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).

While confirming the incident, via a statement on Saturday, June 4, 2020, Kallon expressed his concern over the incident in which at least two civilian lives were lost, including a five-year-old child, pointing out, however, that no aid worker was aboard the helicopter.

The UN representative called on the Nigerian Government to look into the issue to prevent a reoccurrence, as he said that the damage to the helicopter had stalled the provision of crucial assistance to vulnerable people in war-torn North-East, condemning attacks against civilians, humanitarian assets, and aid workers by warring groups, urging all adversaries to respect all Laws of armed Conflict, and to allow and facilitate safe and unimpeded access for humanitarians to deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people in the North East.

The UN Humanitarian Air Service is essential to evacuate wounded civilians and remains the backbone to facilitating humanitarian access, thereby enabling UN agencies and non-governmental organisations to safely and securely reach the most vulnerable populations”, adding that “in 2019, UNHAS transported 66,271 passengers and 147 megatons of humanitarian assistance, as well as conducted 30 medical and 70 security evacuations.

Agenda Watchdog

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