Nigerian refugees flee to Niger to escape attacks by Boko Haram

Islamic Extremism

In northeastern Nigeria, the security situation continues to deteriorate. Attacks by the terror group Boko Haram have killed thousands.This has caused a surge in Nigerian refugees many, crossing into neighboring Niger. CCTV News’ Maria Galong reported this story.

Seeking safety from this Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, over 1,500 refugees from Northeastern Nigeria have come to Niger to escape the militant group terrorizing their towns. They all are dispersed in more than 100 villages and camps, and are hosted by the local community. Most of them have harrowing stories to tell.

“I was in the village with my husband and seven children when the insurgents arrived. They killed my husband and took my two daughters of 11 and 12 years respectively. I was able to run away with the 4 younger ones,” Halima Ibrahim, a refugee said.

New arrivals are spread across hundreds of towns and islands on Lake Chad, on a vast territory with a poor road network. Accessing these populations poses significant operational and security challenges, and is costly. The safety of the refugees, food insecurity and malnutrition remain of concern to NGOs, the European Union and Nigerian authorities.

“The European Union has recently allocated an additional 5 million Euros as part of the Nigerian crisis to respond first to the needs of internally displaced persons in Nigeria where there are enormous needs. One million of this amount was allocated to the displaced people living in Niger to meet the food needs of children under 5-years and pregnant and breastfeeding women,” Wym Fransen, head of mission, EU Aid Commission in Niger said.

To date, the Boko Haram militants are believed to control more than two dozen towns and villages in the North-east Nigeria which share a border with Niger, and there are fears that Boko Haram could pose a big threat to Niger.

“We have enough strength to face any threat. I guarantee you; the army is ready to respond at any moment. We do not fear anyone. The army is there, hidden outside the city and in the city. We do not fear anyone, you can be reassured,” Aboubacar Mamadou Marah, Prefect, department Bosso said.

The army has heightened troops in venerable towns to ensure the safety of both Nigerien citizens and Nigerian refugees.