An estimated 100 soldiers were reportedly killed in the most deadly recent attack in Metele, Borno state thereby raising concerns.
Laure Beaufils, British deputy high commissioner to Nigeria, says the UK is committed to fighting terrorism in Nigeria yet “worried” about deploying people to the north-east, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency.
Since the insurgency started, the UK and other foreign donors have helped internally displaced persons (IDPs) with basic and humanitarian needs.
Of late, insurgents have launched attacks on military formations in the north-east. An estimated 100 soldiers were reportedly killed in the most deadly recent attack in Metele, Borno state.
Speaking with THISDAY, the British envoy said it is essential that more attention is paid to the situation in the north-east.
She said: “We are really committed to fighting extremism alongside Nigeria.
“We have provided a lot of support, not only to the military in Nigeria to address terrorism, and I think it is right that we continue to focus on the north-east right now, because a lot of people are suffering and this is why our organisation is in the north-east to see that the people have access to basic services and put them in internally displaced camps (IDPs).
“But now because of security concerns, they are worried about putting our people there. So, I think it is really essential that we continue to shine the spotlight on north-east and on the situation there, and on the civilian population that are suffering.”
She added that the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), a faction of Boko Haram, is responsible for the rise in attacks.
“I think it is the ISIS in West Africa that is responsible for a lot of the terror in the north-east,” Beaufils said.
“Why it is so difficult to defeat, as it is often the case with terror or guerrilla organisations, is that they use unconventional methods, throwing in very mean young girls, women with guns on their backs, attacking and bombing populations of people.
“It is very difficult to spot them in a crowd. It is very difficult to know what they are planning and it is very difficult to stop them.
“I think the government has to really focus on them and I think we have all seen an upsurge and I think it is important that we do speak about it.”
Although the military has intensified efforts in the war against the insurgents, in November, Abubakar Elkanemi, shehu of Borno, said the people are still under Boko Haram siege.