The United Nations Security Council has described Friday’s bomb attack on the United Nations house in Abuja as a terrorist attack, just as it reiterated its support and willingness to help the Nigerian government combat the rising spate of terrorism attacks.
The Council also submitted that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations was criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed it.
Reacting to the deadly attack that claimed over 18 lives and left several others injured, the members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
Also, the members of the Security Council reminded Member States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism complied with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugees and humanitarian laws.
The Council underlined their support for the people and government of Nigeria, and for the crucial work that the United Nations was doing in partnership with the Nigerian government for the benefit of all Nigerians.
It also underscored the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of the reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Nigerian authorities in this regard.
The Security Council, however, condemned in the strongest terms, the bombing of the UN building, and expressed deep sympathy and condolences to the victims of the heinous crime and to their families, the people and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to the UN Secretary-General and other United Nations colleagues.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has said it would soon dispatch a Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro to Nigeria and had also promised to mobilise the UN system to respond to the emergency.
Deputy Secretary-General Migiro would be accompanied by the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, Gregory Starr, and would meet with Nigerian authorities on arrival in Abuja.
Also, United Nations spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters that there was no previous threat against the UN compound, which had barriers around it to protect against attack.
"It is regarded as a well-defended building and we will need to investigate how it was that the attackers managed to get past different levels of protection so that they could cause the damage that they did," he said.
The heads of several United Nations agencies deplored the bombing, including the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, who voiced deep sadness at the loss of UN personnel and Nigerian citizens killed in the attack.
"These are unarmed civilians who have dedicated their lives to helping the people of Nigeria," she said. Miss Clark added that the UN Country Team was working closely with national authorities to account for those still missing.
The Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Anthony Lake, noted that the loss of the UN colleagues came exactly one week after the organisation commemorated the bravery of those working to save lives around the globe during the annual World Humanitarian Day.
"This tragic event should remind us all of the courage of so many other aid workers who face similar dangers and who are doing so much for so many around the world," he said.