Thousands flee Boko Haram violence

2014-06-11 21:16
Boko Haram Islamists leader Abubakar Shekau. (File AFP

Boko Haram Islamists leader Abubakar Shekau. (File AFP

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Maiduguri - Boko Haram violence has forced more than 6 000 people in the northeast Nigerian state of Borno to flee their homes within the last week, the country's main relief agency said on Wednesday.

The National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) said it had registered 6 227 internally displaced people (IDP) in the state capital, Maiduguri, as of Wednesday.

"Most of them came in the last four days, following the escalation of the crisis and threats," said Nema spokesperson for the northeast Abdulkadir Ibrahim.

Among those who have fled their homes to Maiduguri were people from the remote Gwoza district of Borno, where last week militant fighters stormed at least four villages, killing hundreds.

But the total number of IDPs is expected to be higher, as others escaped to neighbouring Adamawa state or across the border into Cameroon.

Asabe Vilita, a Gwoza local government leader who is also Borno commissioner for commerce and investment, said on Monday that 1 290 people had fled and many had come to Maiduguri.

The figures demonstrate the impact of the continued violence on civilians in the region that NEMA has previously warned constitutes a growing humanitarian crisis.

Ibrahim said bedding, mosquito nets, blankets and food would be provided for those who had fled and the body was working with the Red Cross and other partners.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) in Geneva said last week that Boko Haram attacks were forcing some 800 people to flee their homes every day.

The IDMC, run by the Norwegian Refugee Council, said that at least 3 000 people have been killed since a state of emergency was imposed in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in May last year to March this year.

At least 250 000 fled their homes in the same period, it added.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa
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