UN condemns attack on Yola IDPs camp


Governor, Rotary International District 9125, Mike Omotosho (middle) and members of Rotary Club of American University of Nigeria (AUN) during a visit to the Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Yola.

Warns against human rights abuse
THE United Nations has condemned the heinous attack against a camp for the Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Yola, where some 32,000 people have found refuge.

Human rights expert of the global body, Chaloka Beyani, in a statement distributed yesterday by the African Press Organisation (APO) expressed dismay at the targeting of the camp, the first attack of its kind since the escalation of the crisis in the region.

Beyani is UN’s Special Rapporteur on the human rights of the IDPs.At least, seven people were killed and 14 others injured in the attack, including four officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Beyani said: “IDPs are among the most vulnerable persons, and according to international human rights and humanitarian law, they must be protected against any direct and indiscriminate attacks or other acts of violence against them or their camps or settlements.”

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, the UN expert, who appreciated Federal Government’s condemnation of the attack, stressed that those responsible must be held accountable and brought to justice. He called for increased security measures where necessary to ensure protection and human rights of IDPs.”

In line with the screening of IDPs by security agencies, Beyani said: “Any security measure must not infringe on IDPs’ human rights, including their freedom of movement and family unity. The vast majority of IDPs are innocent victims and their camps must retain their civilian character.”

The expert also expressed concern about recent attacks against IDP returnees in Taraba. More than 2.1 million persons have been forced to flee their homes in northeastern Nigeria since the intensification of Boko Haram’s violent insurgency and the declaration of the state of emergency in May 2013.
“Humanitarian organisations are doing the best they can under very difficult circumstances, but funding shortfalls and insecurity are preventing organizations to reach all those in need”, he said.

The Special Rapporteur reminded all parties of their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law and standards, including the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally-Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention).

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