United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, has warned that the crisis-torn states of the North-Eastern part of the Nigeria, especially Borno State, is not safe for the return of the internally displaced persons yet.
According to Ms. Liz Ahua, UNHCR regional representative for West Africa and regional coordinator for the Nigeria situation, “In Nigeria alone 3.5 million IDPs are displaced and living around Borno State, they are harrased, maimed and living in deplorable conditions, Borno is not condusive for their returns because we still have extant threats from Boko Haram, especially the undetonated IEDs planted by the insurgents.”
She made this assertion during the Regional Protection Dialogue on the Lake Chad Basin, a three-day programme currently going in Abuja.
The Lake Chad Basin, which comprises Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, is currently facing huge challenges of internally displaced persons, which emanated as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.
Speaking further she said, “Many people were displaced from their homes in the town of Bosso in Niger, following an attack that took place on the night of Friday the 3rd of June. The numbers in Niger will swell to more than 180,000 internally displaced persons, while Cameroon and Chad report 160,000 and 54,000 IDPs respectively.
“It is important to note that around 60 percent of the affected populations are children, at least 20,000 unaccompanied children have been displaced by the conflict, many persons affected by the conflict live in areas where humanitarian and civilian government actors have limited access due to insecurity.”
Also lending credence to IDPs challenges, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mr. Bassey Okon Akpanyung said “majority of the IDPs are women, children and older persons who have special protection concerns, including exposure to sexual and gender based violence, abduction, child protection issues, killings/maiming of family members, family separation, destruction of property, forced displacement among many other challenges.”
The forum, which is a gathering of government officials from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, will provide a veritable platform for objective dialogue that will proffer lasting solutions to the protection risks in the Lake Chad Basin, resulting from the conflict-induced crisis.

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