UN chief arrives Borno on first visit to Nigeria, plans to meet ex-Boko Haram militants

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, arrived in Borno state Tuesday on the third and final leg of his tour to West Africa.

The UN chief was received at the Maiduguri International Airport, Borno State, Nigeria on May 3, 2022 by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

BBC Africa reports that Mr Guterres was initially scheduled to travel to the town of Banki, near the Cameroonian border, to meet victims of the Boko Haram insurgency to highlight the humanitarian crisis in the region. But officials say that trip has now been cancelled.

Instead, it was revealed that the UN chief is meeting with victims of the conflict in the city of Maiduguri as well as former Boko Haram militants who have laid down their arms, renounced violence and surrendered to the Nigerian authorities.

It’s however not exactly clear why his visit to Banki was cancelled.

But a spokesperson for the Borno state governor told the BBC the decision was taken due to what he called “some circumstances” without giving details.

The insurgency which began in 2009 has killed nearly 350,000 people and displaced millions of others in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad according to the UN.

Guterres earlier said the humanitarian crisis in the region required more international support to tackle. He also called for more military assistance to Niger, including equipment and finance to enable it to deal with the various extremist groups.

After his visit to Borno, the UN chief will on Wednesday be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and other senior officials in Abuja as well as youth and women groups. BBC Africa reported.

Yans.ng gathered that this is Guterres first visit to Nigeria since he became the ninth Secretary General of the United Nations on 1st January 2017.

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