Attack On UN Aid Workers: PDP Tells UN To Hold FG Responsible For Deaths

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on the Federal Government to apprehend and prosecute the masterminds of the attack on Rann town.

Guterres, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, has also confirmed the evacuation of all humanitarian personnel and the temporary suspension of all humanitarian deliveries in the area.

He condemned the killing of three aid workers in Rann following an attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Thursday night.

The UN chief recalled that attacks targeting civilians and public infrastructure violated international humanitarian law.

“Those responsible for these and other atrocities in Nigeria must be apprehended and prosecuted,” the UN scribe said.

The Secretary-General called on all the parties to ensure, at all times, the protection of all civilians.

According to the UN, one aid worker remains critically injured and another three are still missing while eight members of the Nigerian national security forces were also killed.

The UN chief said, “As of the time of the attack, over 40 humanitarian workers were in Rann.

“All humanitarian personnel have been evacuated from Rann, and all humanitarian deliveries in the area have been temporarily suspended.”

The secretary-general expressed his deepest condolences to the affected aid workers, their families and to the government and people of Nigeria. He also wished those injured a swift recovery.

Meanwhile, an international organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières, popularly called Doctors Without Borders, has also suspended medical activities in Rann.

The MSF said it was leaving its patients, including 60 children currently enrolled on its nutrition programme, without medical assistance.

The French non-profit organisation also noted that it had evacuated 22 of its Nigerian and international staff from the troubled community.

The MSF in a statement on Saturday by its Field Communication Manager, Maro Verli, said while it was still unclear how many people were killed and injured, its medical staff “treated nine wounded patients.”

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party has condemned the murder of the aid workers and charged the UN and the international community to hold the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government accountable for their deaths.

A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, on Saturday, described the deaths as sad and disheartening.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, also on Saturday condemned the attack on humanitarian workers in Rann.

Dogara said the attack, which claimed lives, were “another low in the inhuman, repugnant, callous and barbaric acts” of the terrorist organisation.

Dogara in a statement said, “It is saddening that people who have been sacrificing to save lives and offer succour to our people in the North-East are now targets of the blood-thirsty terrorists.”

Antonio Guterres Takes Oath of Office As UN Secretary-General

The UN Secretary-General-designate, António Guterres, on Monday, December 12, took oath of office as the ninth Secretary-General of the UN, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomas, administered the oath to Mr. Guterres in the presence of the 15 members of the Security Council and other members of the General Assembly.
The General Assembly earlier paid glowing tributes to outgoing Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, for his exceptional contributions to the UN and the global community.
The outgoing Secretary-General will step down on December 31, 2016, while Mr. Guterres will assume office on January 1, 2017 for a five-year term.
Mr. Guterres, 67, was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.
He was formally appointed by the General Assembly on October 13 in what was the culmination of historic process member states set in motion late last year.
The historic process for the selection of a new UN Secretary-General, traditionally decided behind closed-doors by a few powerful countries, for the first time in history, involved public discussions with each candidate campaigning for the UN’s ninth chief.
The “informal briefings” between the candidates, UN Member States and civil society representatives kicked off on April 12 when the first three candidates presented their ‘vision statements’.

They answered questions on how they would promote sustainable development, improve efforts to create peace, protect human rights, and deal with huge humanitarian challenges should they be selected to lead the UN.
In October, thanking the Assembly for appointing him as the next secretary-general, Mr. Guterres said he was grateful to the member states for their trust in him, as well as for the transparent and open selection process they undertook.
The Secretary-General-designate said: “I believe this process means that the true winner today is the credibility of the UN.
“And it also made very clear to me that as secretary-general, having been chosen by all member states, I must be at the service of them all equally and with no agenda but the one enshrined in the UN Charter.”
Monday’s ceremony, at which Mr. Guterres would take the oath of office, would also see the 193-member General Assembly pay tribute to outgoing secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, for his exceptional contributions to the work of the UN over the past decade.