Action Against Hunger/Action Contre La Faim (AAH/ACF)

6 members of AAH staff were kidnapped south of Damasak on 18 July 2019. I member was reportedly executed by ISWAP on 24 September 2019. AAH may well have been conducting surreptitious negotiations to have hostages released, possibly involving an agreement to provide food, medicines and cash.

On 18 September, AAH was ordered by the Nigerian Army to close its main offices in Borno and Yobe States, northeastern Nigeria. The army said it had previously warned the NGO against "aiding and abetting" Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria. AAH denies the accusations and says its "life-saving assistance" to vulnerable people has now been put "into jeopardy".

The army claimed it had credible intelligence the charity was one of a number involved in subversive activities and was aiding and abetting terrorists, including by supplying drugs and food to extremist groups. The military said that a member of AAH staff was arrested with a huge quantity of cash in transit in Borno without clearance or reasonable explanation.

Action Against Hunger is the biggest NGO involved the international humanitarian response in the region.  Discussion has been ongoing in Geneva, Abuja and France to resolve the Action Against Hunger impasse.


Mercy Corps

The Nigerian army closed the offices of Mercy Corps on 27 September 2019 after the army said they found a large sum of money, N29 million ($94,771) in cash, allegedly belonging to the agency being transported by a Mercy Corps driver in northeastern Borno.

 Mercy Corps suspended operations in Borno and Yobe States following the closure of four field offices by the Nigerian military.

 Mercy Corps Offices in Maiduguri, Dikwa and Damaturu were shut down by the Army on 27 September. The reasons, as gathered from Government Security Sources, are given as:

  •       Mercy Corps vendors were caught transporting Liquid Fertilizer   from the office of the NSA or Theatre Commander.

  •       Mercy Corps Vendors were caught transporting Food and Drugs in Borno and Yobe with Mercy Corps Waybill and Logo without approval, clearance, or authorisation from the office of the NSA nor Theatre Commander.

  •       Mercy Corps staff was arrested at Maiduguri Airport with huge sum of money without clearance, reasonable explanation nor authorisation.

  •       Mercy Corps had been warned repeatedly against such practices which could jeopardise ongoing military efforts against the Insurgents.