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Boko Haram: 1,000 Nigerian refugees flee to Niger each week •Insurgents demand cattle for 30 new abductees

By News Express on 11/06/2014

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An average of 1,000 Nigerian refugees are crossing into neighbouring Niger Republic each week, seeking succor in a region where the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is supporting thousands of refugees fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency that has plagued northern Nigeria.

A report on this on the IRC’s official website said: “Refugees have been flowing into neighbouring countries, where borders exist in name only, and each person has a harrowing tale of escape, a heartbreaking story of loss from which few will recover. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) estimates that as many as 1,000 refugees a week are crossing the border into Niger’s Diffa region. Four out of five are women and girls. The IRC estimates that if the violence continues in northern Nigeria, up to 100,000 refugees could be living in Diffa by the end of the year.”

Meanwhile, Boko Haram insurgents who kidnapped 30 women near Chibok, Borno State, where over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped on April 14, have demanded cows as ransom, according to a Reuters report. This is interpreted as a sign that the terrorists may be facing a severe food crisis.

Villagers from Chibok told Reuters yesterday that they had met nomads fleeing last week’s raids by Nigerian troops who told them the kidnappers were demanding cattle in exchange for the women.

“One of them named Mohammed told me Boko Haram held the men at gunpoint and moved from hut to hut taking the women,” said Yahaya Musa.

“The abductors told them to bring a ransom of cows,” said a farmer identified as Yakub Chibok. Police and army spokesmen have however said they could not confirm the accounts that women were taken last Thursday in areas outside Chibok.

However, according to officials, the nomadic settlements hit by the abductions included Bakin Kogi, Garkin Fulani and Rigar Hardo. Recounting how the women were kidnapped Hospital, as part of activi- near Chibok, a member up to resist Boko Haram’s attacks, Alhaji Tar, said the gunmen arrived at Garkin Fulani settlement at noon last Thursday and forced the women into their vehicles at gunpoint.

He added that the gunmen drove away to an unknown location in the remote stretch of Borno State.

Tar said the group also took three young men who tried to stop the kidnapping. “We tried to go after them when the news got to us about three hours later, but the vehicles we have could not go far, and the report came to us a little bit late,” he said.

Jonathan has accepted military and intelligence help from the United States and Britain, among others, to help find the Chibok girls. But notwithstanding the international help to curtail terror in the country, the militants have only upped their attacks.

The Federal Government and army said they were doing all they could to free the schoolgirls, and know where they were being held. They have ruled out exchanging them for militant prisoners and said any bid to force their release could lead to a bloodbath

•Photo shows a Nigerian refugee in Diffa, Niger Republic, seeking medical care for the child at a clinic run by IRC.

Source News Express

Posted 11/06/2014 4:35:19 PM


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