News / Africa

    Masses Fleeing Boko Haram Broil in Sun in Niger Camp

    • Children run after VOA's car in Assaga camp, Niger, March 3, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • Children clean chalkboards in a classroom at the Ngourtoua camp, Diffa, Niger, March 1, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • Clothes are hung out to dry at the Assaga camp, Diffa, Niger, Feb. 29, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • El Hadj Tahirou, the Nigerian tailor of the Assaga camp, in Diffa, Niger, Feb. 29, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • Men, whose faces are swept by wind and sand, pray at the Assaga camp in Diffa, Niger, March 3, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • Women and children get water from a well at the Assaga camp, in Diffa, Niger, March 3, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • A child plays at the  Assaga camp, Niger, March 3, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • Thanks to supplies provided by UNICEF, school children at the Ngourtoua camp listen to their teacher, in Diffa, March 1, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • Oumara Gobo, village chief of Assaga-Niger, watches over 100 families in this camp for displaced persons near Diffa, Niger, Feb. 28, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • A humanitarian worker places straw on the roof of a hut at the Assaga camp, Diffa, Feb. 29, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • Refugees from Assaga-Nigeria show off red peppers they produced, Feb. 28, 2016. Business had been forbidden for months as authorities feared it financed Boko Haram militants. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • Nigerian refugees living at the Assaga camp, near Diffa, Feb. 28, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    • A 10-year-old school girl writes on the chalkboard in a temporary classroom at Ngourtoua camp, near Diffa, Niger, March 1, 2016. (N. Pinault/VOA)
    A Look Inside a Refugee Camp in Diffa, Niger
    Nicolas Pinault

    Hundreds of thousands of people forced from their homes are now living in the Diffa region of eastern Niger. Makeshift camps are everywhere on each side of the RN1, the country's main highway.  The asphalt is boiling hot.  

    Here, refugees from Nigeria live next to displaced people from Niger.  They are two nationalities but have one common fear: Boko Haram.

    Mataram Kodogo, a Nigerian, fled her village with her eight children for the relative safety of the Ngourtoua camp.

    “It was 2:30 a.m.; it was a Thursday. Boko Haram arrived in our village, shooting, killing people," she said. "It was every man for himself. People were fleeing undressed, without shoes. I put my baby on my back, took another child under my arm, and I dragged another.”

    Others in the camps tell similarly horrible stories. Even with the Niger army on patrol, displaced people and refugees are scared. Daily life is not easy.

    Hunger problem

    The food situation is at best precarious. Last year, the United Nations estimated that the region's harvest would not meet local needs, falling short by 100,000 tons of cereals.

    The U.N. refugee agency has said efforts to help the displaced are complicated because they are spread out for 30 kilometers along RN1 instead of being in a proper camp. Aid officials aren't even sure how many people they are dealing with.

    "We know that many people have no IDs," said Karl Steinacker, the U.N. agency's representative in Niger. "It is extremely difficult to say where they are from. But, as of right now, we have more displaced people than Nigerian refugees."

    He estimated the Diffa region's total population at 700,000, including 100,000 Nigerian refugees. "And at least half of them are displaced or in need,” he told VOA.

    Many refugees or displaced people say they would return to their homes if security improved, but the chances of this seem remote. Boko Haram is still active along the Komadugu Yobe River, the natural border between Niger and Nigeria.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: jthebart
    March 04, 2016 8:30 PM
    A woman with her 8 children flees the village. Does no one else see the problem here? How long is this going to go on? I saw an interview with an African man who said he had to have 23 children to help him feed his 23 children.
    If you have too many kids you limit everyone's opportunities, and people with nothing else to do turn to armed violence as an alternative.
    In Response

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    March 06, 2016 1:19 AM
    Overpopulation is a self limiting thing. When you can get no food or water you die.

    by: Jazz
    March 04, 2016 8:07 PM
    I'm truly upset that our simple humanitarian needs continue to be held out of reach. Wake up people, the systems we trust in are not, and have not planned to help us. We have to take back our scenes and stop giving up so much control. This upsets me to the core. That I am 36 and my generation hasn't been involved or prepared from our parents. Has all these years of generational oppression finally broke our spirits. We have to pull out of this selfish capitalism lifestyle. Its a killer.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    March 05, 2016 10:04 PM
    Place no blame on Capitalism, brother. There is and never will be any justification for causing any kind of harm to another human being perpetrated by external influences. Governments all over our world have proven they care less about the human being, and more about their pathetic ideologies!

    by: Nelsonolebunne
    March 04, 2016 7:37 PM
    My words is when will this war against terror and shedding of blood of innocent citizens end.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora