United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR) Friday released a report indicating that at least 6,000 people have fled Adamawa, Yobe and Borno to neighbouring Cameroon and Niger Republic.
According to the UNCHR report released yesterday at the UN Headquarters, several people had been killed, with many villages completely razed.
UNCHR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said UNCHR has been asking states that share the same border with Nigeria to keep them open for the displaced citizens running away from Boko Haram and might need international protection while advising against any forced returns.
We continue to urge States in the region to keep their borders open for Nigerians who are fleeing their country and may need international protection.
Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States have been under emergency since May 2013 as the army fights Islamist Boko Haran rebels.
The UNCHR spokesperson noted that of more than 4,000 who fled to Cameroon since mid-January, most are in the Logone-et-Chari area of Far North Region. With this new influx, he added, there are now 12,428 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, quoting statistics from the local Cameroonian authorities.
Edwards said of that 2,183 have so far been moved to a UNHCR camp at Minawao, 130 kilometers further inland.
“Together with partner agencies we are providing refugees with shelter, health, sanitation, education, food, and other help,” Edwards said.
The agency noted that its team in Cameroon’s Far North Region had spoken with refugees from the area around Banki, a town just across the border in Nigeria’s Borno State.
“The refugees said their villages were bombed, that several people had been killed, and that at least two villages were burned to the ground,” it said.
In Niger alone, the report added, 1,500 new refugees who fled after the January 16 massacre in the village mosque of Gashagar Borno State. [Thisday]