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Nigerian Army suspends UNICEF from Northeast on allegations of ‘spying’ for Boko Haram

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The Nigerian army has suspended the activities of UNICEF in the north-eastern part of the country, accusing the humanitarian agency of working for Boko Haram insurgents.

In a statement by Onyema Nwachukwu, deputy director, public relations of the army, the military said it took the action since the organisation had been sabotaging the war against insurgency.

“The Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE has observed with dismay that some of the activities of international humanitarian agencies and Non-governmental organisations’ operating in the North East have left so much to be desired.

“There is credible information that some of them are indulging in unwholesome practices that could further jeopardise the fight against terrorism and insurgency, as they train and deploy spies who support the insurgents and their sympathisers.

“It is baffling to note that some of these organizations have been playing the terrorists’ script with the aim to continue demoralizing the troops who are doing so much to protect the lives of victims of Boko Haram Terrorism and safeguard them from wanton destruction of property and means the of livelihood.

“The Theatre Command considers the actions of these organizations as a direct assault and insult on the sensibilities of Nigerians, as they tend to benefit more from expanding the reign of terror on our people.

“Consequently, the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE is suspending the  operations of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North East theatre until further notice.

“This has become inevitable since the organization has abdicated its primary duty of catering for the wellbeing of children and the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and now engaged in training selected persons for clandestine activities to continue sabotaging the counter terrorism and Counter insurgency efforts of troops through spurious and unconfirmed allegations bothering on alleged violations of human rights by the military.

“Information within the reach of this Command specifically indicates that the organization commenced the said training on Wednesday 12 December 2018 at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall, Musa Usman Secretariat, Maiduguri and ended on 13 Thursday December 2018. The Theatre command will not tolerate this kind of sabotage from any individual, group of persons or organisation.

“We call on all NGOs and members of humanitarian agencies to keep to their legitimate norms in the discharge of their acclaimed humanitarian duties.”

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