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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Nigeria - Syria

14 Jun 2021

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Displaced women and children at an informal camp in Dikwa, Borno State, Nigeria (file photo). © OCHA/Yasmina Guerda

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 14 June 2021

Nigeria

OCHA continues to receive alarming reports of clashes between insurgent groups and Nigerian Armed Forces in Dikwa, Borno State, and of non-State armed groups (NSAG) and military personnel attacking and harassing internally displaced people in camps.

Some internally displaced people have started moving out of the Shehu Masta camp in Dikwa and settling in neighbouring host communities and the LGA reception centre due to those recent attacks.

After a deadly clash with NSAG operatives in the camp area last week, military personnel allegedly conducted a spontaneous search at the camp, with some internally displaced people assaulted and more than 20 shelters set ablaze on suspicion of aiding NSAG operatives, according to field reports that have not been independently verified.

Following the incident and continued risk of attacks, some internally displaced people started moving out of the camp as of 10 June.

Escalating attacks and clashes, some of which targeted and affected assets and humanitarian personnel, have prompted a temporary reduction of humanitarian footprints in the LGA since mid-April, although critical and life-saving services are ongoing through third parties and community-based organizations.

OCHA continues to follow on the situation and advocate with military high command on the need of military operations and personnel to comply on civilian protection and human rights.

 

Syria

On Saturday, the Al-Shifaa Hospital in Afrin, Aleppo, came under attack, causing considerable loss of life and physical destruction.

The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr. Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mr. Muhannad Hadi, issued a joint statement yesterday condemning the horrific attack.

Reports indicate that the attack killed at least 15 people, among which were two health-care staff and two NGO workers at the hospital.

At least 11 additional hospital staff and dozens of civilians were also injured by the bombardment, including 5 children and 13 women.

The hospital building sustained major damage, including complete destruction of clinic and delivery rooms. The hospital, which was one of the largest medical facilities in northern Syria – providing 15,000 medical services each month – is now out of service.

For the people of Syria, already beleaguered by ten years of crisis, health facilities should be safe havens, not a target. This latest incident adds to an appalling record of ongoing attacks on hospitals in Syria, which further undermines a fragile health-care system, where more than 50 per cent of health facilities are out of service.

Mr. Riza and Mr. Hadi strongly condemn these incidents and reiterate that directing attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law. They also echo the Secretary-General’s call for accountability for crimes perpetrated in Syria.