Safety of refugees at stake, following Boko Haram attack in Niger

Refugees and IDPs in a camp in Toumour waiting for food distribution Refugees and IDPs in a camp in Toumour waiting for food distribution ICRC/Ozmen, Emin

15 December 2020

The United Nations is deeply concerned about the new deadly attack against refugees and IDPs in Toumour town

In the evening of 12 December 2020 (local time), at least 28 people were killed, along with hundreds more wounded in the town of Toumour, in south-east Niger’s Diffa region, near the border with Nigeria. The attack, which lasted four hours, has been claimed by Boko Haram. Local sources stated that unidentified gunmen destroyed two-thirds of the town’s homes, burned the local market to the ground, and killed more than a thousand cattle.

Consequently, most of the population fled to the bush. According to United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates, Toumour hosts 20,000 Nigerian refugees, 8,300 IDPs, and 3,600 returnees in need of humanitarian assistance. Following the extremist violence, the UN Refugee agency, together with humanitarian partners and local authorities, started organising emergency shelter, food, water, and health support to the affected communities. Nevertheless, reaching Toumour is now particularly challenging, due to recent heavy floods.

The UN Secretary-General has strongly condemned the attack, expressing his condolences to the bereaved families and the people and Government of Niger. He additionally regretted that the attack took place amid the peaceful holding of municipal and regional elections in the Diffa region. He finally seized the occasion to renew the United Nations support to national efforts to further consolidate the democratic governance, social cohesion promotion and sustainable development achievement.


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Author: Barbara Caltabiano; Editor: Gianmarco Italia

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