News / Africa

Thousands Fleeing Boko Haram’s Recent Attacks

Fearing Boko Haram attacks, an estimated 9,000 Nigerians recently have fled to Cameroon. Others have sought safety in their home country, as seen at a refugee camp in Wurojuli, in Nigeria's Gombe state, Sept. 1, 2014.
Fearing Boko Haram attacks, an estimated 9,000 Nigerians recently have fled to Cameroon. Others have sought safety in their home country, as seen at a refugee camp in Wurojuli, in Nigeria's Gombe state, Sept. 1, 2014.
Lisa Schlein

Thousands of Nigerians have fled vicious attacks by Boko Haram and sought refuge in Cameroon in the past 10 days, officials from Cameroon and the United Nations say.

Cameroonian authorities estimate at least 9,000 people have arrived in the country’s Far North Region, with more coming across the border.  They say more than 1,500 other people have headed to Niger.

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reports the new arrivals have fled recurrent attacks in the past three weeks in the Gwoza area in Nigeria’s Borno State. 

But spokesman Adrian Edwards said even upon arrival in Cameroon, the refugees are not necessarily out of harm’s way.

"Even once they have crossed into Cameroon, they are still being pursued by insurgents," he said. "We have already started to relocate some of the refugees to a refugee camp where they can be in safer conditions."

But this is not so easy to do. Aid workers have had limited access to the border areas these past weeks because of the increasing insecurity, Edwards said. Despite the volatile situation, they were able to go to a northern town during the weekend, where they met new arrivals.

Nigerian villages deserted

Some of the newly arrived refugees are sleeping on the ground in schools and churches and some are staying with host families, Edwards said. Children are suffering poor health. The refugees have been telling UNHCR staff that everyone had fled for their lives and that their villages in northeast Nigeria are now empty.

Edwards said the UNHCR team on Sunday reached the Cameroonian border village of Koza and met a number of refugee women. 

"They told us that when their homes were attacked in Nigeria’s Borno state, their husbands had sent them with their children into the surrounding mountains," he said. "They later saw heavy smoke coming from their village, which made them fear insurgents had burnt their homes. They have had no news from their husbands."

Relocation has begun

The UNHCR has begun relocating 80 of the new refugees, mainly women and children, from Koza to a refugee camp in Minawao, 120 kilometers from the border, Edwards said. The camp already hosts 6,000 Nigerians.

The UNHCR says the total number of refugees in Cameroon now stands at around 39,000. As Boko Haram attacks in northern Nigeria show no sign of letting up, the agency fears refugee numbers in Cameroon will continue to rise.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid