- The United Nations (UN) office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) laments increase in the number of displaced persons in the north east
- The OCHA says between November 2018, and January 2019, at least 80,000 people have been displaced
- The international agency says about 200,000 people are estimated to be Nigerian refugees or asylum seekers, living neighbouring countries
The United Nations (UN) office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has revealed that more than 80,000 Nigerians have been displaced due to the ongoing violence in the north east since November 2018.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN relief agency said that the figure was in addition to the two million people already displaced by violence, or forced across Nigeria’s borders as refugees.
The report quoted OCHA as saying in 2018, relief organisations had estimated that 7.7 million people required urgent life-saving assistance.
However, OCHA said a recent upsurge in clashes between non-state armed groups and the state security forces was forcing UN agencies and their partners to reassess the needs on the ground.
Legit.ng understands that the UN agency disclosed that a 90-day plan was in the works to ratchet up the response, especially across the worst-affected state of Borno, to meet the immediate needs of an estimated 312,000 men, women and children.
“In addition to the 1.8 million displaced within Nigeria as a result of the conflict, the violence has led many families to flee over the border into neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
“To date, about 200,000 people are estimated to be Nigerian refugees or asylum seekers, living in those countries,” the UN agency said.
Also, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), has reportedly raised the alarm over a recent new influx of Nigerian asylum seekers and refugees in Chad.
“Since 26 December, when the town of Baga on the Nigerian side of the Lake Chad, was attacked by a non-state armed group, around 6,000 have been forced on the run.
“Many of them paddled for three hours across the water to arrive in the lakeside Chadian village of Ngouboua, some 20 kilometres from the Nigerian border,” the UN refugee agency said.
It was learnt that the UNHCR and the Chadian authorities are carrying out registration and pre-screening of new arrivals to evaluate their needs.
The body said an overwhelming majority of the newly displaced persons are women and children and, according to initial information, about 55% of them are minors.
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The international organisation urged all parties to the conflict to protect civilians as well as civilian construction and infrastructure, and to uphold international human rights and humanitarian laws.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recently said escalating attacks by non-state armed groups suspected to be Boko Haram are triggering new displacements in north east Nigeria, especially Borno.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that OCHA said more than 2,000 newly displaced people had recently arrived in Teacher’s Village camp in Maiduguri, after fleeing attacks by non-state armed groups as well as clashes between armed groups and the military in Kukawa, Kauwa, Doro Baga, Kekeno and Bunduram near Lake Chad.
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