The Nigerian Army has advised international aid organisations to stay off conflict areas in the North-East for their safety.
Boko Haram insurgents who have been terrorizing the region have little respect for humanitarian agencies as they had in many occasions abducted and killed foreign aide workers.
The Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who spoke on Friday while receiving officials of the Medicine Sans Frontier, also known as Doctors Without Borders, at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, that the advice was borne out the desire to ensure the safety of the aid workers.
The security of international and local aid workers is of paramount importance to the Nigerian government, the army chief who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, told the visitors.
Buratai urged them to avoid that actions that would expose them to danger should be avoided, specifically cautioning the humanitarian workers avoid conflict areas because of the indiscriminate attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.
“Despite your neutrality and impartiality, at times situations make it difficult for you to have the reach you would like to have – neutrally without any security man or apparatus seen around you,” he said.
“We must continue to operate with understanding so that while you are providing succour for the people, you also don’t come into harm’s way.”
The COAS noted, however, that the military would, continue to ensure adequate security for members of the organisation to help them alleviate the plight of persons affected by the insurgency.
President of the MSF, Mr. Kristos Christi, in his response, said the group visited to solicit the army’s support to provide medical assistance to thousands of Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East, adding that they had delivered thousands of babies for pregnant women in the region.