Boko Haram displaces 320, 000 persons in four months – UNHCR

The renewed attacks by Boko Haram insurgents have displaced about 320, 000 persons in the last four months, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has said.

The UNHCR Regional Representative for West Africa, Ms Liz Ahua, stated that the nation was also hosting over 35,000 Cameroonians who were displaced by the crisis in the southern part of the francophone country.

The Cameroonians, she added, were camped in Benue, Cross Rivers and Taraba states.

Speaking at the second regional protection dialogue on the Lake Chad Basin in Abuja on Monday, Ahua called for a long-term approach to support those forced to flee and the communities hosting them.

The UNHCR Representative, who is also the Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Nigeria Situation said, “We are dismayed to witness new displacement of people in Borno State and the flight of thousands more into Cameroon and Chad. Altogether, close to 320,000 persons were displaced in the last three months of 2018 and this very month of January.”

She added, “This vacillating situation compels us to be focused and realistic in our deliberations so that the conclusions that we reach today and tomorrow as well as the commitments that we will make must address more frontally the new challenges that this protracted conflict is thrusting on us.”

Together with humanitarian and development partners and governments, she said the countries comprehensive response “seeks to target and address the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of refugees, the IDPs and host communities in order to mitigate the risk of conflict between them.”

In his keynote address, the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), urged the participants to map out measures to tackle the old and new challenges in the Lake Chad Basin.
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