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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid