Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Over 30,000 newly displaced persons have fled volatile areas around the Lake Chad in Borno State to Maiduguri, the capital following recent upsurge of Boko Haram attacks in the area.
United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) said in Maiduguri on Wednesday the increasing attacks by Boko Haram insurgents have forced scores of people to flee again to the capital.
“Clashes on 26 December 2018 between Nigerian government forces and non-state armed groups in Baga town, on the shores of Lake Chad about 200 kilometers north of state capital Maiduguri, triggered the massive displacement, with most women, men and children converging on already congested camps or sites for internally displaced people in Maiduguri or Monguno town,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon said in a statement.
He recalled the attempted attack on Monguno town, north of Maiduguri by Boko Haram on December 28. He said the incident “exacerbated the situation” and generated “further displacement and uncertainty.”
“The impact of the recent fighting on innocent civilians is devastating and has created a humanitarian tragedy,” Kallon was quoted to have said after a visit to Monguno and Teachers Village camp for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri.
“It is heart-wrenching to see so many of these people living in congested camps, or sleeping outside with no shelter. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and the United Nations is extremely concerned about the impact that violence in north-east Nigeria, especially in Borno State, is having on civilians,” he added
UN said the over 30,000 new IDPs were mainly from the Nigerian border town of Baga aftermath of December 20 attack on the town by Boko Haram. About 20,000 new idps arrived the Teachers Village camp since two weeks, the UN disclosed.
It said the displacement has stretched the capacity of the camp with thousands of people in need of water, food and medicament.
It also disclosed that many humanitarian workers have withdrawn from very volatile areas including Kala Balge, Kukuwa and Monguno local government.