UN body says 7,660 Nigerians fled to Niger Republic due to kidnappings, terrorism | Ripples Nigeria
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UN body says 7,660 Nigerians fled to Niger Republic due to kidnappings, terrorism

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The United Nations has stated its fears over the escalating violence and threat to lives in the North-West region of Nigeria as thousands of people flee to the Niger Republic.

This was contained in a statement issued by the UNHCR spokesperson, Boris Cheshirkov, during a press briefing at Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday, March 4.

According to Cheshirkov, the fear of armed groups and communal clashes caused 7,660 Nigerians to flee into Maradi, Niger, at the start of the year.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that another 3,500 Nigerien, mostly women and children, were internally displaced inside their country, thus, increasing the number of refugees camping in the Maradi region, southern Niger, to over 100,000 displaced persons, including 77,000 Nigerians.

Mr. Cheshirkov added that the latest influx of refugees, mainly women, and children, were displaced due to attacks in Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara.

READ ALSO: FG to evacuate Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, Niger, Chad

He explained that the UNHCR teams in Niger recorded a surge in deadly violence in Maradi and more casualties in the last two months of 2021 than throughout the second half of 2020.

“Refugees describe gruesome murders, kidnappings for ransom, and looted villages. Many have also been caught up in clashes between farmers and herders as well as vigilantism, as self-defence groups are being set up in most villages,” he said.

“People fleeing are in urgent need of water, food, shelter, and health services. Most have fled empty-handed in the rush to save their lives.”

More than 3.2 million people were displaced across Lake chad Basin, as the armed group in the Sahel and Lake Chad fuelled the crises in the West African region, based on UN estimates.

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