10/31/2019 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Just last month, the Nigerian military forced two NGOs operating in the Northeast of the country to close. The military was accusing these groups, MercyCorps and Action Against Hunger, of aiding and abetting the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Due to these claims, MercyCorps suspended most of their operations in the country.
This has hurt those most in need in Northeast Nigeria. Millions who have been displaced, lost loved ones, and have no way to make money, rely on family and non-profits for aid. When the Nigerian military made these baseless claims, they stopped these millions from getting the much needed aid.
On Wednesday, the Nigerian government said that it has temporarily lifted the ban on these NGOs. This means that these groups will be able to start working in Northeast Nigeria again, but may not, as they could very easily be shut down again at any moment. This makes it risky for them as it will take time and money to get their office up and running again. The Nigerian government needs to issue a statement that non-profit organizations will be allowed to serve the suffering and in need without fear of reprisal. If the military can prove an NGO is breaking the law, then they can be held accountable, but only when it is fully proven. Otherwise, the military is only punishing its own starving masses.
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