NGOs provide support to Boko Haram, Nigerian Army alleges
The Nigerian Army has again accused some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the North-east of breaching security and sabotaging ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the zone.
Army Spokesperson Sagir Musa on Thursday said the military established this after the arrest of a Boko Haram commander, Mohammed Modu on Sunday.
The army had in 2018 levelled a similar accusation against NGOs operating in the region.
Mr Musa alleged that the high profile commander belongs to the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of the terrorist group.
The army spokesperson said preliminary investigations revealed that the Shekau faction of Boko Haram had been receiving “humanitarian support of food and drugs supplies from some NGOs operating in the North East.’’
Mr Musa described the NGOs’ actions – providing logistics support to terrorists, as “serious security breaches.’’
He, therefore, warned the affected NGOs to “desist from compromising Nigeria’s national security and war efforts against terrorism.’’
Mr Musa advised them to operate in accordance with the extant rules and regulations guiding the operations of humanitarian aid workers.
He said they must also operate in line with the guidelines and procedures of International Humanitarian Laws, as well as the Laws of Armed Conflict.
He further warned, “The Nigerian army will no longer tolerate such acts of sabotage inimical to the fight against terrorism by any organisation or agency, and will not hesitate to sanction any such recalcitrant organisation as appropriate.’’
He did not name any particular NGO.
NAN reports that in December 2018, the army suspended the operations of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North-East theatre until further notice.
The army alleged that UNICEF had shifted from “its duty of catering to the wellbeing of children and the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and now engages in training selected persons for clandestine activities.”
“The Theatre Command will not tolerate this kind of sabotage from any individual, group of persons or organisation.
“We call on all Non-Governmental Organisations and members of humanitarian agencies to keep to their legitimate norms in the discharge of their acclaimed humanitarian duties.”
The army provided no evidence against UNICEF.
The army later announced a reversal of the decision to suspend UNICEF from the North-east.