50,000 Flee South-east Niger After Boko Haram Attack

50,000 Nigerian refugees fleeing Boko Haram violence 50,000 Nigerian refugees fleeing Boko Haram violence MSF

7 June 2016
After multiple attacks in the last few days by Boko Haram, 50,000 civilians are forced to flee their homes in Niger. 

The town of Bosso, in south-east Niger, came under  three attacks by Boko Haram  last Friday, Sunday, and Monday.  At least 30 civilians were killed in the Friday attack.  As of Sunday, there were conflicting reports as to who controlled Bosso, with the mayor acknowledging that the town had fallen to Boko Haram while the Nigerien government assured it had total control.

These attacks have forced 50,000 civilians to flee. Many are heading to Toumour, a city about 30 km away.  They are forced to live precariously in the open.  Some are moving on farther to the town of Diffa, 140 km from Bosso.  A camp for the internally displaced in Kabelawa is operating at full capacity of 10,000.

Since Nigeria has been cracking down on them, Boko Haram is looking for a new location to base their operations. Martin Ewi, a researcher on counter-terrorism at the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), believes Niger is the “new frontline of the war.” According to the UN, at least 30 attacks this year have been attributed to the militants.

Since the start of the conflict in 2009, the UN believes more than 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2,000 women and girls kidnapped. It is estimated that 2.5 million people have fled their homes with some seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.

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