March 26, 2023

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Amnesty International is concerned about the closure of IDP camps in the state of Borneo


In Nigeria, plans to close camps for displaced people in the north of the country are endangering tens of thousands of people. In a statement issued on Wednesday, December 15, Amnesty International warned of the plight of nearly 10,000 internally displaced families living in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

On November 19, it was still dark when the governor of the state of Borneo, Babagana Zul, arrived at the Pakashi camp to tell the displaced that they had more than ten days to leave.

They were given food and cash assistance. More than 200 euros for men. And one hundred euros for women. Despite this encouragement, our correspondent in Nigeria reports that Pineto did not return home. Lisa Fabian.

The way back

She moved her tent a few meters away from the campground. We can no longer live there. Those who wanted to go back had to go back because there was nothing left and they heard gunshots every day. I will never forget the day I ran on foot from the Lake Chad area and what happened to Monguno before reaching Baga. Whenever I hear noise, I believe it is firing.

While some wanted to stay in Maiduguri, others stayed in the army-protected city of Kuosa without reaching their villages. However, according to Hamzat Allam, a peace activist in Maiduguri, the closure of the camps has become inevitable. We maintain a corrupt system. Emergency humanitarian assistance is not expected to last. Today is 12 years ! So when will it end ? Our life cannot go on like this, maybe we should start somewhere.

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According to the officials of the state of Borneo, they believe in the reluctance of the people to recapture the territories abandoned for many years. Displaced people who have taken refuge in Maiduguri have to return to the land where they fled.

This plan is unacceptable to many civil society organizations because of the attacks of jihadist militants Belonging to the Boko Haram group And the Islamic State is still very common in West Africa. Although Nigerian President Mohammed Buhari has promised to make the fight against insecurity one of his priorities, many areas are still escaping the control of the authorities.

Dangerous areas

Although authorities in the state of Borneo deny that people are being forced into dangerous areas, NGOs have not agreed. They cite as an example the attacks carried out by Nigerian authorities targeting refugee camps. On August 30, in Mafa, near Maiduguri, a month after the resettlement, 6 people were killed and 14 wounded.

For example, internally displaced people in Agiri and Shuwari face severe food shortages as they are denied humanitarian assistance after being forced to relocate for more than four months. The government had promised to provide about $ 242 per family for food. But of course he only paid about $ 48 to these families, after which nothing more was paid. These families therefore complain that the government cannot deliver on its promises and deliberately refuses to honor them.

Sean Bagare (Amnesty International): “10,000 families at risk if forcibly repatriated”

Read more: In Nigeria, the activities of the NGO Acted were suspended in the state of Borno