The Nigerian Army has again accused some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the North-east of breaching security and sabotaging ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the zone.
Army Spokesperson Sagir Musa on Thursday said the military established this after the arrest of a Boko Haram commander, Mohammed Modu on Sunday.
The army had in 2018 levelled a similar accusation against NGOs operating in the region.
Mr Musa alleged that the high profile commander belongs to the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of the terrorist group.
The army spokesperson said preliminary investigations revealed that the Shekau faction of Boko Haram had been receiving “humanitarian support of food and drugs supplies from some NGOs operating in the North East.’’
Mr Musa described the NGOs’ actions – providing logistics support to terrorists, as “serious security breaches.’’
He, therefore, warned the affected NGOs to “desist from compromising Nigeria’s national security and war efforts against terrorism.’’
Mr Musa advised them to operate in accordance with the extant rules and regulations guiding the operations of humanitarian aid workers.
He said they must also operate in line with the guidelines and procedures of International Humanitarian Laws, as well as the Laws of Armed Conflict.
He any warned, “The Nigerian army will no longer tolerate such acts of sabotage inimical to the fight against terrorism by any organisation or agency, and will not hesitate to sanction any such recalcitrant organisation as appropriate.’’
The army alleged that UNICEF had shifted from “its duty of line of work to the well-being of kids and also the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and currently engages in coaching selected persons for clandestine activities.”
“The Theatre Command won’t tolerate this sort of sabotage from anyone, group of persons or organisation.
“We sound a note of warning to all Non-Governmental Organisations and members of humanitarian agencies to abide by their legitimate norms within the discharge of their acclaimed humanitarian duties.”
The army provided no evidence against UNICEF.
The army later announced a reversal of the decision to suspend UNICEF from the North-east