By John Okeke
The European Union (EU) and the United States government have condemned the recent killing of aid workers abducted in June along the Monguno-Maiduguri road in North-east Nigeria.
In a statement signed by its Nigerian office spokesperson, Chukwulaka Modestus, on Thursday, the EU expressed shock.
“The EU would like to express its condolences with the families, friends and colleagues of the five victims and our thoughts are with them,” the statement said.
It could be recalled that the killing of the aid workers and the circulation of the tragic video online.
The gunmen who carried out the killing said their victims were aid workers working for nongovernmental organisations.
According to the statement, the EU appealed for the adherence to international humanitarian law and the safeguard of human rights.
“Conflict is not an excuse to breach these rules and target humanitarian workers and civilians,” the statement said.
It said “it is an extremely difficult time for the humanitarian community in Nigeria”.
It lamented that the informal vehicle checkpoints and ambushes along the main roads in Borno State have resulted in hundreds of civilians being abducted, wounded or killed since the beginning of the year.
“Insecurity in conflict-affected North-east Nigeria is severely impacting the civilian population and hindering the capacity to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need of urgent support.
“Humanitarian workers have one mission – that of saving lives. At a time when humanitarian needs are at their highest in North-east Nigeria, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, relief workers continue to selflessly help the people in need for whom this aid is their only lifeline. Saving the lives of others should not cost lives.”
Also, the United States embassy in Nigeria has reacted to the execution of the aid workers.
“We are deeply saddened by the execution of five humanitarian workers by terrorists in North-east Nigeria. This comes against a backdrop of deteriorating conditions for millions of Nigerians,” it said.
“These brave individuals dedicated their lives to easing human suffering. We hope that their families and colleagues can take comfort in their selfless sacrifices on behalf of others. We will remember their dedication to others.”