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13 August 2017, 06:23 | Todd Saunders
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Edward Kallon, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria, expressed "grave concern" Friday over the military's actions in Maiduguri in the northeast.
Rumors have spread that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau may have been taking refuge in one of the United Nations buildings.
Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, the Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, made the disclosure at a briefing in Maiduguri.
"Furthermore, the relationship between the Nigerian Military and United Nations has been cordial, aimed at working towards a more secured world in general and Nigeria in particular, which will be sustained".
Commenting on the raid on United Nations facility in Maiduguri, General Attahiru said "Our actions, like previous successful exercises, were based on intelligent reports made available to the military and never meant to tarnish the image of the United Nations body, an agency we so much respect and hold in higher esteem".
An army statement revealed, that the said building, housing United Nations staff, didn't carry a United Nations designation, and the operation was successfully concluded, but no arrest was made, because the suspects were not found.
The U.N. says it has no information "regarding the reason or motivations for the unauthorized search". The clearance operations effort has been yielding several successes. This necessitated the need to intensify cordon and search in Maiduguri metropolis and environment. On August 10, 2017, Theatre Command received information from one of its credible sources that some high value BHT suspects had infiltrated into Pompomari Bye Pass. The operation was successfully conducted as over 30 houses were searched.
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General Ibrahim Attahiru, who commands operations in Borno state where Maiduguri is located, said on Saturday that the army "will continue to work toward providing and enabling a conductive environment to United Nations agencies to enhance their operations". Notwithstanding, the search operation was conducted peacefully at the premises, when the troops were allowed into it, just like other buildings.
"On the whole, operation in the general area was successfully concluded but no arrest was made because the suspects were not found".
"The general public is cautioned to avoid peddling rumours which may cause disaffection and to remain law abiding".
Over 20,000 people are estimated to have been killed over the eight years of the Boko Haram conflict and more than two million displaced. Tens of thousands live on the brink of starvation and millions more lack secure access to food.
"Peace building is a collective responsibility", he said in a statement.
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