The federal government on Sunday assured the UN of its commitment to respect and safeguard the diplomatic status of the organisation’s personnel and property in Nigeria.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement by its acting spokesperson, Jane Adams, said that the assurance was a sequel to the military search of the UN premises in Maiduguri, Borno on August 11.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, had on August 11 expressed concern over the unauthorised search of a UN base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri by security forces.
The Ministry expressed the federal government’s regret over the incident noting that government recognised its obligations under international humanitarian law and principles which protect all humanitarian organisations.
“The federal government, however, noted with satisfaction the success of the collaborative efforts by the Nigerian Army, the Borno governor and the UN team in Nigeria.
“It also noted the efforts to re-establish trust, confidence, and cooperation, between the Nigerian Army and the UN in Maiduguri.
“The federal government appreciates the vital support being provided by the UN and other humanitarian organisations in addressing the humanitarian crisis in the north-east of the country,” the spokesperson said.
She said the government would continue to take all necessary measures to respect and safeguard the neutrality of these institutions and the diplomatic status of the UN personnel and property in Nigeria.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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