Humanitarian CrisesNews

Humanitarian Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing in Borno

A humanitarian helicopter on Tuesday was forced to make an emergency landing outside Banki, Borno State, Northeast Nigeria after experiencing an unknown fault.

HumAngle gathered that the military deployed a quick rescue team to the emergency landing site. The helicopter has since returned to Maiduguri.

Those with inside knowledge of aide agencies in Northeast Nigeria confirmed to our reporter that the helicopter belongs to United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).

Banki is within the area of influence of Boko Haram, the parent faction of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

As of the time of reporting, no casualties were reported from the incident while the number of occupants was also not known.

A few days ago, Amina Mohammed, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General visited camp hosting displaced persons in Banki and Nigerian returnees from Cameroon.

The visit was facilitated by United Nations humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) Nigeria.

In July, A UNHAS helicopter came under fire in Damasak, Mobbar Local Government in the volatile northern Borno region.

The helicopter was able to return to Maiduguri airbase shortly after the attack.

UNHAS uses distinctive white paint and UN marking on the Bell 412 and 212 helicopters deployed in the region for humanitarian operations.

HumAngle gathered that air transport is crucial for humanitarian operations in the Lake Chad region due to security risks associated with the roads.

Air services deliver crucial medical and food supplies to hard-to-reach areas in the Northeast and transport aid workers and injured civilians.

“Since the beginning of operations in August 2015, UNHAS Nigeria has provided access to 92 organizations, comprising of NGOs, UN agencies, and members of the donor and diplomatic community,” according to a WFP January 2018 report.

The report added that between January and December 2017, four helicopters based in Maiduguri successfully transported 29,406 passengers and 104,287 kg of urgently required cargo to 11 locations in Borno State and one location in Yobe State on behalf of 88 humanitarian organisations.

In July, a total of 14 checkpoint incidents occurred, mainly in Borno State, up from five incidents in June, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The agency added that in August, the trend increased even with 16 incidents recorded.


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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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