Nigerians Fleeing Violence Continue To Arrive In Neighbouring Niger

Nigerians Fleeing Violence Continue To Arrive In Neighbouring Niger

Worsening security situation in northeast Nigeria is increasingly affecting neighboring Niger, the International Committee of the Red Cross Reports (ICRC) in its Friday press release.

"Recent attacks near the border have once again driven hundreds of families seeking safety to take refuge in the Diffa area. "We are worried about the humanitarian effects this situation will have in a part of the country that is already accommodating thousands of displaced people," said Jean-Nicolas Marti, head of the ICRC delegation in Niger.

Diffa, a town of 50,000 people, sits just 170 km north of Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno State most affected by the bloody activities of Islamist Boko Haram.

Thousands of internally displaced people and refugees live in appalling conditions on the islands of Lake Chad, a remote area where the borders of Nigeria, Niger and Chad converge.

"Several hundred families have no access to such basic necessities as clean water, health care and education for their children. Some do not even have shelter," said Jean-Pierre Nereyabagabo, an ICRC expert on economic security.

Since the declaration of emergency rule and the simultaneous escalation of violence in three northeast Nigerian states, the ICRC has strengthened its presence the Diffa region to assist the people fleeing bloodshed.

According to the International Rescue Committee, some 40,000 Nigerians fled to Niger – primarily to the Diffa areas – last year alone. 

Nigerian government has been criticised by national and international politicians for their slow response to the rising insecurity in some parts of Nigeria, and especially for their inability to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram a month ago.

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