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UN confirms release of abducted aid workers

Three United Nations aid workers abducted three weeks ago by Boko Haram insurgents have been released.The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, said on Thursday that the aid workers abducted on December 22, 2019 in Monguno-Maiduguri Road in Borno State, in Northeast of Nigeria were released on Wednesday along with some residents.

The aid workers, he said, were released on January 15, 2020 and said: “I am deeply relieved that some civilians, including three aid workers, who were abducted by non-state armed groups along the Monguno – Maiduguri road on 22 December, 2019 have been released yesterday and are now safe.”

“The whole humanitarian community in Nigeria shares the joy of the families, friends and colleagues of these aid workers, who can now put to rest the unimaginable anxiety of missing their loved ones,” the UN envoy added.

The aid workers, he said, were dedicated to humanitarian efforts to provide life-saving support to millions of Nigeria’s “most vulnerable” in north-eastern Borno State, who had been displaced and traumatised by the activities of the insurgents.

“They should never have been a target or have to endure the trauma of being held captive,” Kallon decried.

He expressed worries over the fate of the others still in the cells of the jihadists, especially two other aid workers – Grace Taku, who was abducted near Damasak in July 2019, as well as Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother, who has been held captive since March 2018, following an attack in Rann.

“Both are still held captive by non-state armed groups. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners call for their immediate and safe release,” said Kallon.

The UN condemned the spate of attacks on aid workers providing support to victims of insurgency in the north-eastern region of Nigeria.

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