By Olarewaju Kola
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AA) - A total of 37 aid workers have been killed in Nigerian’s volatile northeast region since the crisis there began a decade ago, said the United Nations on Tuesday.
“Recent data indicates that the conflict has claimed the lives of 35,000 civilians" since the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency broke out in July 2009, said Eve Sabbagh of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, in a statement marking World Humanitarian Day.
Dozens of local and foreign humanitarian workers gathered in the nation's capital on Tuesday to remember their fallen colleagues and demand more protection.
Edward Kallon, the chief of humanitarian coordination in the country, said many of the aid workers have been risking their lives "working tirelessly to extend helping hands" to those affected by the violence in the country’s northeast region.
He said protecting humanitarian workers and their families is a must.
Six aid workers working with an international humanitarian group were abducted on July 18 by Boko Haram insurgents in the volatile Borno state, and remain in the insurgents’ custody.