Humanitarian aid workers murdered in Nigeria

(Civilian population suffers from attacks by Islamist extremists (Press Release)

Following the murder of humanitarian aid workers in Nigeria, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) warns of a significant worsening of the famine catastrophe in the north of the country. "Due to the disgusting violence by Islamist extremists, it has become even more difficult and dangerous for aid organizations to work in the region. Hundreds of thousands of people in need will feel the effects of this, because aid organizations will have to be even more cautious to keep their staff safe in the future," stated Ulrich Delius, the STP's Director, in Göttingen on Thursday. In northern Nigeria, 7.9 million people are dependent on humanitarian aid.

Four of the five murdered Nigerians were employees of the French aid organization Action against Hunger and the International Rescue Committee. The fifth victim worked for a private security firm and was supposed to protect the aid workers. They had been kidnapped on June 8, 2020, in Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria. On Wednesday, their captors released a video showing their execution. The men had to kneel and wait for their execution blindfolded after their captors accused them of working for "infidel organizations". 

"Kidnappings and murders of individual aid workers are not uncommon in Nigeria. But the public execution of five aid workers will have a lasting impact on the humanitarian work for oppressed Christians and Muslims in Nigeria," Delius added. In order to make sure that their staff is safe, aid agencies will now have to decide whether they will be able to keep up their commitment for the needy in northern Nigeria. Even today, tens of thousands of civilian in need cannot be reached by aid organizations because of the problematic security situation.