Rann Airstrike: Children Worst Hit as Red Cross Loses Six Volunteers


ONE WEEK  after the unexpected bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Rann, Borno State the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs


A child victim in a Maiduguri Hospital (c) online

(OCHA) has confirmed the death of six volunteers of the Nigerian Red Cross Society in the incident with nine others still in critical conditions.


According to the just released OCHA Flash Update, a total of 98 people mostly unaccompanied children were airlifted from Rann to Maiduguri within three days after the incident out of which two boys lost their lives while 78 people who suffered various degrees of injuries underwent surgeries and repairs.

“Those who underwent operations had broken limbs, suffered burns or shrapnel wounds” and are being looked after by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) medical teams, the statement read in part.

On the situation overview, the OCHA noted that so far, a total of 107 people were treated for various injuries right at the Rann camp.

According to the UN OCHA the air bombardment incident had occurred during food distribution process to over 25, 000 people in camp, disrupting the process which was later completed on Monday, January 23 with the help of local volunteers.

It added that UN Humanitarian Air Service and military helicopters were instrumental in the emergency medical evacuation that saw the UN air service airlift 967 kg of medical cargo to Rann and ferry medical teams to the ground.

Aid agencies have also called for better protection of civilians and respect of humanitarian space in the ongoing conflict that has brought deep devastation to millions of people across north-eastern Nigeria.

An inter-agency assessment in Rann on 9 January found that around 35,000 people were displaced in the locality, with the majority living in makeshift shelters and lacking sufficient food, water, health and sanitation services.

The long-running conflict has left some 8.5 million people in need of assistance in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

This year, humanitarian organizations plan to assist 6.9 million people in dire need of nutrition, food, shelter, health, education, protection and water and sanitation.

A projected 5.1 million people will face serious food shortages as the conflict and threat of unexploded devices have hampered farming for a third year in a row.

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