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JUST IN: Army makes U-turn, says UNICEF can now go ahead with activities in Northeast

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Hours after banning the operation of UNICEF in the Northeast, the Nigerian Army has lifted the suspension.

The Army Friday afternoon suspended the international organization’s operation in the region on grounds of what it described as activities inimical to national security and also capable of undermining the ongoing fight against terrorism.

This is not the first time the Army and the organization are in the news.

Earlier this year, the Army raided a building belonging to UNICEF in Maiduguri allegedly in search of Abubakar Shekau, factional leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Immediately after the embarrassing military raid, the organization suspended its operation in the country until the Nigerian government and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima intervened.

Col. Onyema Nwachukwu who signed the release said the military and representatives of the organization had an emergency meeting following the ban where he also said the two bodies had reached an understanding over the issue.

Read full statement:

PRESS RELEASE

THEATRE COMMAND LIFTS SUSPENSION ON UNICEF ACTIVITIES

Sequel to intervention by well meaning and concerned Nigerians over the recent suspension of UNICEF operations in the North East theatre of operations, the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE convened and held an emergency meeting with representatives of UNICEF this evening.

During the meeting, the Theatre Command admonished the representatives of the organization to desist from activities inimical to Nigeria’s national security and capable of undermining ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency. The Command also urged UNICEF representatives to ensure they share information with relevant authorities whenever induction or training of new staff is being conducted in the theatre.

Consequently, after extensive deliberations on the need to seek modalities to work harmoniously with the security agencies in the theatre of operation, the Theatre Command has henceforth lifted the three months suspension earlier imposed on UNICEF activities in North Eastern Nigeria.

Please disseminate this information to the general public through your news medium.

Thank you for your kind cooperation.

Onyema Nwachukwu
COLONEL
Deputy Director Public Relations
Theatre Command

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