A Statement by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, Marking One Year Since the Killing of Aid Workers in Rann, Borno State

News and Press Release
Originally published

Abuja, 1 March 2019 - Today marks one year since the deadly attack on Rann town in Borno State, that claimed the young lives of three dedicated aid workers, who were providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to thousands of internally displaced people there.

Doctor Izuogu Anthony Onyedikachi, Emmanuel Yawe Sonter, and Ibrahim Lawan were working in challenging and remote conditions in north-east Nigeria, just eight kilometres from the border with Cameroon, and faced personal hardship, living away from their families.

The attack on 1 March 2018 sent shockwaves through our community of aid workers from the United Nations and non-governmental organisations. Any time violence claims an innocent life, it affects us all.

But even more so when it robs us of young and talented professionals, full of hope and promise, dedicated to serving their fellow countrymen and women. That is a shock that strikes at the very core of our humanity.

Non-state armed groups also kidnapped three female aid workers in this attack. Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa and Hauwa Mohammed Liman, both midwives, were executed by their captors in September 2018 and October 2018 respectively. Alice Lokshah, a nurse and mother, is still being held. The United Nations calls for the immediate release of Alice, and for her safe return to her family.

Today is a day of mixed emotions for everyone involved in humanitarian work. We remember those we lost as a result of the attack on Rann. In their memory we also celebrate the strength, resilience and compassion of the humanitarian spirit.

We honour our departed friends for their sacrifice, courage and selfless service. The most meaningful tribute to the lives of these aid workers is to carry on their work with conviction in the humanitarian principles we stand for and uphold.

For further information, please contact:

Samantha Newport, Head of Communications, OCHA Nigeria, (+234) 9062277205,

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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