Nigeria Returns 3,000 Displaced After Jihadist Violence
Muhammad Irfan 2 months ago Mon 30th November 2020 | 06:30 PM
Kano, Nigeria, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Nov, 2020 ) :Authorities in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Monday began returning around 3,000 people to their homes six years after they were displaced by jihadist violence, officials said.
The returnees who fled their homes in Marte in Lake Chad region in 2014 were packed into dozens of trucks and buses from Bakassi camp for internally displaced (IDPs) in the regional capital Maiduguri.
"I'm very happy to return to my roots which I left six years ago," one returnee Bukar Kyarimi told AFP. "We need to go back and tend our abandoned farms but we hope the government will give us adequate protection from the insurgents." "We are eager to go back to our homes but what happened in Koshobe...is frightening," said another returnee, referring to the weekend attack on local farmers blamed on Boko Haram jihadists.
The decade-long jihadist conflict has forced around two million out of their homes, most of them from northern Borno, pushing them into squalid camps in Maiduguri where they rely on food handouts from international charities.
The authorities have been encouraging people displaced by the jihadist violence to go back to their homes, saying the camps were no longer sustainable, despite concern from aid agencies that it was not safe for them to return.
In the last two years, residents were returned to five major towns where they are confined under military protection, with trenches dug around the towns to fend off attacks by the jihadists.
Despite the security measures, the insurgents have continued to launch attacks on the fortified towns.
The IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) which split from the main Boko Haram faction in 2016, keeps camps in islands on Lake Chad ---- where Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad meet ---- and the area is known to be the group's bastion.
The group focusses on military targets, but it has increasingly been abducting and killing civilians at bogus checkpoints as well as raiding villages for supplies.
In September, thousands of residents of Baga on the shores of the lake returned to their homes they fled in 2014.
They have been restricted to its confines for fear of ISWAP fighters who have killed residents who went fishing, according to locals and security sources.