The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, on Tuesday condemned the deadly attacks targeting innocent civilians in Konduga, Banki and Ngala areas of Borno State.
Kallon expressed this view in a statement by Biodun Banire, the Public Information Officer, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, on Tuesday in Abuja
He said four attacks in recent weeks, three of which were carried out by suicide bombers, had claimed the lives of over 45 civilians and injured countless others.
Kallon said the incidents were indicative of a surge in the brutal violence triggered by a regionalised conflict that is now in its eighth year.
He said: “Civilians are routinely killed in direct and indiscriminate attacks in the north-east of Nigeria.
“This conflict, with all its brutality and horrors, is reaching new lows, with more than 80 children used as human bombs in 2017 alone.
“I call upon all parties to the conflict to respect human life and dignity.
“The latest attack occurred on September 18 in Konduga area, about 28 kilometers southeast of Maiduguri.
“Three suicide bombers consecutively detonated explosive devices strapped to their bodies in Mashemari village, killing 13 and injuring many more.”
According to Kallon, previous attacks in Banki and Ngala targeted camps for internally displaced persons and Nigerian refugees returning home.
He said these camps hosted thousands of vulnerable women, men and children, who had been forced to flee their homes and now rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.
He said: “The previous Konduga attack in August targeted a market in the town.
“The frequency of the attacks is on the rise and ‘softer’ targets, such as camps for displaced persons, are being identified by insurgents.
“This is an extremely worrying trend, while the Government of Nigeria has made significant progress in many locations in the north-east, allowing thousands of people to return home, there is more to be done.
“I urge the Government of Nigeria to increase efforts to protect civilians.”
He said the protection of civilians was the focus of the ongoing humanitarian response in the North East.
Kallon noted with concern that 8.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in the most affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
He added: “Women, children and men face grave human rights violations and sexual and gender-based violence, including rape.
“Since the start of the conflict in 2009, thousands of people have been killed, thousands of women and girls have been abducted and children have been used as so-called ‘suicide’ bombers.”