Niger to evacuate thousands of refugees fleeing Boko Haram

Niger evacuates several thousands of Nigerian refugees who took shelter on Karamja island on Lake Chad

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Niger army says it saved some 4000 refugees who run away from Boko Haram insurgency in neighbouring Nigeria and sheltered on Lake Chad’s Karamja Island.

A regional governor in southern Niger said the refugees should leave Karamja after Boko Haram militants increased their offensive on April 25 when they killed scores of Niger soldiers and civilians in an ambush attack on the island.

Boko Haram militants use Lake Chad’s swampland islands for their ambush attacks on soldiers from Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon, the bordering neighbours which have been striving to cope with the militant insurgency.

The executive secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency in Yobe state, Idi Jidawa told reporters that they were sending back some 4000 displaced people to their home.

Jidawa also said the Nigerian refugees are already on the way back to their home and would arrive at the frontier town of Geidam in Yobe state on Wednesday. An unnamed Nigerian army official also confirmed the news to Reuters.

"Though NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) is in charge, we are assisting them in the exercise of profiling and documentation," Jidawa added.

The Boko Haram militant group is believed to have killed thousands of people in the respective countries together with kidnapping scores of civilians, most particularly in Nigeria and its three other neighbours.

Nearly 1.5 million people are also believed to have dislocated in the northeast Nigeria towards Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

The regional armies of those four countries with the help of the African Union cooperate on repelling the militancy in the Sub-Saharan West Africa.

Nigerian army has very recently rescued some 700 women and children who had been captivated before by the militants as the troops cornered Boko Haram fighters into Sambisa Forest.


TRTWorld and agencies