News / Africa

Atrocities Reported in Northeast Nigeria

In this photo taken with a mobile phone, a man receives treatment at Konduga specialist hospital, following an attack by suspected Islamic extremists in Kawuri, Maiduguri, Nigeria, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. At least 85 residents of the village were unable to escape the blast.
In this photo taken with a mobile phone, a man receives treatment at Konduga specialist hospital, following an attack by suspected Islamic extremists in Kawuri, Maiduguri, Nigeria, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. At least 85 residents of the village were unable to escape the blast.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
Thousands of people have fled northeastern Nigeria in recent weeks amid reports of atrocities against civilians. The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, says it is increasingly alarmed at the rising level of violence. Nigeria declared a state of emergency in the northeast a year ago due to attacks by the militant group Boko Haram.


UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said the latest attacks began in mid-February.

“Over the past four weeks, we’ve seen an additional 2,000 people fleeing this region into the southeast of neighboring Niger. The accounts from these people speak of real atrocities in the region around Lake Chad, which lies on the borders between Niger and Nigeria and Chad. One woman described to us bodies being strewn through houses, floating in the water.”

Many people said they were too afraid to stay behind and bury the dead or look for missing relatives.

Edwards said, “We’ve had some other accounts of shooting in villages there with women and children being kidnapped and taken away. So, it’s really a spreading of this horrible conflict we’re seeing outside of the towns and into some of the rural areas of northeast Nigeria.”

Besides the Lake Chad area, some of the new arrivals are from the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

“It’s hard for us to get full visibility of the situation inside northeast Nigeria, simply because we don’t have the access. And you have to remember that in addition to people fleeing Nigeria, you have got close to half a million people internally displaced inside the country. And that’s according to the government’s figures. So, these are really very high numbers and reflect what seems to be a very alarming situation,” he said.

Since Nigeria declared a state of emergency in Adawama, Yobe and Borno states, nearly 60,000 people have fled to Niger, Cameroon and Chad. Most are in Niger. About 17,000 of them are registered as Nigerian refugees. The rest are nationals from neighboring countries, who’ve been living in Nigeria for many years.

“We’re working together with partners, including the International Rescue Committee, the governments of the neighboring countries, to try and ensure that countries keep their borders open. And then we’re trying to do what we can to help people on arrival,” he said.

Edwards said many of those fleeing northeastern Nigeria are traumatized and left with very few possessions.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Slimdjpumping. OfficerDJ from: Oye Ekiti
March 13, 2014 8:31 AM
May Almighty God reveal all brains behind this insurgence

by: babafunso awe from: ado ekiti
March 12, 2014 7:48 AM
may God save Nigeria..................

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs