Nigerian Government Terminates Action Against Humanity Services After Alleged Boko Haram Involvement
On Sept. 20, the Nigerian army accused Action Against Hunger of supplying provisions to Boko Haram, ordering the nonprofit to immediately terminate its aid efforts in the region.
Action Against Hunger is a French nonprofit organization dedicated to extending humanitarian aid to malnourished citizens around the world and is the largest NGO to respond to Boko Haram’s reign of terror. Many of the nonprofit’s Nigerian offices are being shut down amidst allegations that the NGO has been sponsoring Boko Haram in the nation’s Borno state.
The ban on Action Against Hunger comes after several unheeded warnings by the Nigerian army to crack down on involvement with Boko Haram, a militant group responsible for over 30,000 civilian deaths and several millions more civilian displacements in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to Nigerian military spokesman Ado Isa, “the subversive and (sic) actions of the NGO Action Against Hunger persisted despite several warnings to desist from aiding and abetting terrorists and their atrocities.”
Action Against Hunger now seeks the Nigerian government’s permission to continue operating in Nigeria, contending that their presence and actions are carried out with benevolent intentions. The international community has overwhelmingly admonished the Nigerian government’s actions, warning that their widespread rejection of charitable and humanitarian aid may lead a full-blown humanitarian crisis.
This is not the first disagreement between the Nigerian government and international aid-rendering organizations. In December 2018, UNICEF activity was temporarily held in abeyance for its perceived facilitation of Boko Haram’s activity. Likewise, the Nigerian government and army recently blamed Amnesty International Nigeria of fabricating allegations that they were treating their own troops in the northeast inhumanely.
Action Against Hunger refutes the Nigerian army’s accusations and is outraged that the government would impede its mission to save several thousands of impoverished Nigerians. According to a statement made by the organization, “Action Against Hunger delivers neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian aid to millions of people in Borno and Yobe states by providing basic services to the most vulnerable people, especially women and children.”
Action Against Hunger hopes to continue operations in the region by appealing the Nigerian government’s ban.