Boko Haram: IDP Population Rises To 2.2Million – UNHCR

Boko Haram: IDP Population Rises To 2.2Million – UNHCR

By Eseme MacDonald | Associate Editor on November 19, 2015
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IDPs, Borno
People displaced from their homes and communities, following attacks by Islamist group Boko Haram, wait at an internally-displaced persons (IDP) camp in Maiduguri in Borno State, on August 3, 2015. | AFP/Stringer

The population of Internally Displaced People (IDP) in the North East had increased to 2.2 million, according to statistics by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

This disclosure was made by the UNHCR Representative to Nigeria, Ms Angele Dikongue- Atangana in Abuja during the UNHCR 2015 stakeholders’ briefing of the commission’s representation in Nigeria, although she said the rise was not as a result of new displacement.

Dikongue- Atangana reinstated the resolve of the agency to uphold its humanitarian support to Nigeria.

She further called on partners and donor agencies to render their assistance to the refugees and displaced persons.

She said: “The number of IDPs is not really increasing as a result of new displacement.

“There could be some relatively small new displacement in the course of combating insurgency and knowing that the insurgents themselves still remain active, especially in this hit and run tactic.

“The number is increasing specifically because regaining control of the territory by the military opened further access for the humanitarian officials so they can count many more IDPs, be they old IDPs or very recent ones.”

The country representative disclosed that UNHCR had recorded success in its 2015 operational activities in Nigeria including addressing refugee and IDP plights, advocacy on statelessness, and collaboration with ECOWAS.

According to her, the commission in its action plan supervised the voluntary repatriation of 452 Cameroonian refugees back to their country.

She said that plans were already in progress to repatriate 165 others back to their country before the end of the year, while resettling others to a third country in Europe, and the U.S, according to Vanguard.

She said that UNHCR was working closely with relevant bodies to ensure that IDPs had their basic rights especially the right to existence, food, shelter, education, security, among other amenities.

The UNHCR representative said that in line with the global campaign in eradicating the scourge, it had engaged the National Assembly in domesticating the frameworks that would prevent and reduce statelessness in Nigeria.

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