UN suspends air services as terrorists attack chopper in Borno

The United Nations (UN) on Saturday announced a suspension of humanitarian air services in the northeast following the latest attack on one of its helicopters in Borno.

Tribune Online reports that a United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) chopper was hit by bullets on Thursday as insurgents tried to infiltrate Damasak town, resulting in a gun battle with troops.

In a statement on Saturday, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said, “although we are still establishing the facts surrounding the incident, we know that one of the helicopters sustained bullet holes to the body of the aircraft during its approach to Damasak.

“The helicopter was able to turn around and safely return to Maiduguri. Fortunately, the crew members were not hurt, and there were no passengers on board.

“However, recognising the seriousness of the incident, and in consultation with UNDSS and UNHAS/WFP, I am putting in place, with immediate effect, a pause on UNHAS rotary operations in the northeast, in order to allow us to engage with government partners and conduct new risk assessments for each helicopter location to ensure that we have taken all the possible mitigation measures.

“The suspension is for an initial period of one week, during which we will review the situation,” said Kallon.

ALSO READ: Buhari appoints Pam as Christian Pilgrims Commission Executive Secretary

“During this period, life-saving medical and security evacuations will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the authorisation of the coordinator.”

UNHAS has since 2018 served 16 countries, flying to 323 regular destinations, ferrying a total 386,330 passengers.

It is managed by the World Food Programme to offer safe, reliable, cost-efficient and effective passenger and light cargo transport for the humanitarian community into and from areas of crisis and intervention.


Politicians Jittery As COVID-19 Deaths Spread •PDP, APC Tighten Access To Offices •Aged Lawyers, Judges Worried Too
SENIOR government officials and party chieftains are running helter-skelter to avoid being hit with COVID-19 spiraling infection and disconnecting from their political base, a Saturday Tribune survey has shown… Read Full Story

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More