The United Nations (UN) has said about 110 rice farmers were on Saturday, gruesomely murdered by some members of Boko Haram insurgents in the Zabarmari community, Borno State, Insidenaija reports.
The UN on Sunday, throw more light on the attack, contrary to earlier reports, it said 110 civilians were killed by Boko Haram.
Mr. Edward Kallon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, who made this known said, many other people were allegedly injured in the deadly attack by the insurgents group.
In a statement on Sunday, titled, ‘Statement on attack against civilians in Koshobe’, Kallon said, “I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri. At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”
According to him, the attacked was carried out by unknown gunmen on motorcycle who gruesomely slaughter men and women who were harvesting rice on their farm in Kwashebe and other rural communities in the Jere Local Government Area, of the state.
Kallon while condoling with the Nigeria government and Nigerians said, some women might have been abducted during the attack.
“We have also received reports that several women may have been kidnapped. I call for their immediate release and return to safety. My thoughts are also with the rural communities in the area, who are shocked by the brutality of yesterday’s (Saturday’s) attack and fear for their safety.”
“The entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State are outraged by the incident. Such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing, and which we are striving to alleviate,” he said.
The UN described the incident as “the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year,” and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
“It is, unfortunately, one of too many such attacks targeting farmers, fishermen and families who are trying to recover some livelihood opportunities after over a decade of conflict. I strongly condemn this attack and any act of violence against innocent civilians and I firmly urge all actors on the ground to respect international laws and humanity,” the UN official stressed.
Also, Amnesty International in Tweet on Sunday afternoon, revealed that about 16 other victims were internally displaced persons.
The Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum, during his visit, where he later led kinsmen and other residents Zabarmari community, for the funeral of 43 farmers was told that the death toll was yet to be fully ascertained.
“Your Excellency, as you have seen here, 43 corpses were buried, but others have not been retrieved from the scene of the incident. Nobody can tell you the exact number of people killed. Some of the victims are still missing” a resident (name concealed) told the Governor.
Meanwhile, Insidenaija had previously reported that, Governor Zulum addressed the bereaved community. “First of all, accept my deepest sympathy over this carnage, once again, that affects all of us and every human with conscience. I am told some persons are still missing. We have been discussing with the military since yesterday, Insha Allah the remaining people will be traced soon.”
The Governor while speaking to journalists said, “It is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands. Our people are in very difficult situations, they are in two different extreme conditions, in one side they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents.
“This is very sad. We are still appealing to the Federal Government to ensure recruitment of more our youths in the CJTF and hunters into the Nigerian military and the Civil Defence so that they can form part of the agro rangers that will protect farmers. We need many boots to protect farmlands and our youths understand the terrain. We will not lose hope because we have to remain optimistic about ending the insurgency” Zulum said