Borno- A United Nations expert described as “troubling” indications humanitarian actors might not have had full access to Rann to assess refugees' needs and protection situation.
The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, made the sentiments as she expressed dismay at the bombing of a camp housing IDPs in Borno State in the troubled northeast region of Nigeria.
A counter-insurgency against the Boko Haram is ongoing in the region.
Initial reports from the IDP camp in Rann, near the borders with Cameroon and Chad, state over 50 people had been killed in the incident.
Authorities described it as an “operational mistake” after the Nigeria Airforce dropped a bomb after mistaking the site for a Boko Haram encampment.
“This tragedy should never have happened and brings into stark focus the perilous situation that many internally displaced persons continue to experience in this region of Nigeria,” Jimenez-Damary said.
She said the safety of IDPs must be guaranteed and urge the Government to ensure full and unhindered access to humanitarian organisations to the region and all locations in which IDPs and other vulnerable civilian populations are living.
Jimenez-Damary emphasized that the Government of Nigeria has the primary responsibility to protect internally displaced persons, who are among the most vulnerable, in line with the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
She offered her support to the Government to help improve its responses to the displacement crisis, and urged it to work in full cooperation with its international partners to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect IDPs.
While noting the expressions of regret by the Government, including President Muhammadu Buhari, Jimenez-Damary, conveyed her sadness at the loss of life.
- CAJ News