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Boko Haram: 30,000 IDPs to flee to Maiduguri – UN

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) says an additional 30,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) 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.

A statement by Edward Kallon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, issued on Wednesday noted that the increasing attacks by Boko Haram insurgents have forced scores of people to flee again to the capital.

The statement read: “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.”

“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 the Teachers’ Village camp for IDPs 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.”

UN said the over 30,000 new IDPs were mainly from the Nigerian border town of Baga, which is in the throes of the aftermath of the December 20 attack on the town by Boko Haram.

About 20,000 new IDPs have arrived the Teachers Village camp in the past two weeks, the UN disclosed.