FG lifts suspension on North-East humanitarian groups

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In a bid to end the conflict in the North-East, the Federal Government has lifted the suspension placed on two international humanitarian non-government organisations in the North-East.

The NGOs, Action Against Hunger and Mercy Corps, were suspended by the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ Theatre Command of the Nigerian Army on September 19 and September 24, respectively.

The NGOs were suspended based on the allegation that they were supplying food, fuel and medicine to Boko Haram insurgents.

But at a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, said that government was concerned about counterterrorism efforts and that measures must be put in place to support them.

According to her, concerns and recommendations of the board of inquiry will continue to receive attention and scrutiny to address the issues raised.

Farouq said, “Based on the seven-point agenda proposed by the United Nation Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to strengthen coordination and partnership between the humanitarian community and the government of Nigeria in the North-East, and taking into consideration the planned civil military coordination workshop in Maiduguri by this ministry, these issues will be addressed.

“Among others, they will be addressed through the establishment of a high policy forum on humanitarian assistance in the North-East by this ministry; vetting of all humanitarian vendors, clearance of all NGOs and allocation of fuel to humanitarian actors.”

“The Nigerian Army’s Theatre Command had shut down the AAH office in Maiduguri and declared the organisation as “persona non grata.”

The military, in a statement released by its Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Col Ado Isa, had noted that the AAH was closed for aiding Boko Haram terrorists by supplying them food and drugs despite warning from the Theatre.

Source: Punch News

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