UN’s West Africa envoy strongly condemns double bombings in Nigeria

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21 May 2014 – The United Nations envoy for West Africa has strongly condemned the double bombings that targeted a market in the Nigerian city of Jos and resulted in the deaths of over 100 people and the wounding of scores more.

In a statement issued in Dakar, Senegal, where he is based, Said Djinnit extended his solidarity and sympathy to the victims and their bereaved families, as well as to the Government and the people of Nigeria.

“He urged that the perpetrators of these heinous and cowardly attacks against innocent civilians should be swiftly brought to justice,” said the statement.

“The large-scale and devastating losses of lives caused by repeated indiscriminate killings cannot continue,” it added.

Mr. Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), also reiterated the world body’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s efforts to tackle the threat of terrorism within the framework of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

The envoy visited Nigeria from 12 to 15 May in his capacity as the High-Level Representative of the Secretary-General to discuss with Government officials the assistance that the UN could provide in support of ongoing efforts to seek the safe release of the more than 200 girls abducted from their school in Chibok in mid-April.

In the wake of that visit, the UN has prepared an integrated support package that includes immediate support to the affected families, the population and the girls after their release, in particular with psycho-social counselling and helping them reintegrate with their families and communities.

Yesterday’s bombings have reportedly been blamed on the militant group known as Boko Haram, which is responsible for the abduction of the school girls. The group, whose name stands for “Western education is a sin,” has been carrying out targeted attacks in recent years against schools, police, religious leaders, politicians, public and international institutions, indiscriminately killing civilians, including dozens of children.