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UNHCR Nigeria Situation Regional Update (1 – 28 February 2019) – Nigeria

271,990 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Niger due to insurgency (As at 28th February 2019)

2,498,927 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and northeast Nigeria due to insurgency

SECURITY DEVELOPMENTS

  • In Nigeria, presidential and National Assembly elections were conducted. There were no major disruptions to the polls in the three North-Eastern States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe which have been affected by insecurity. However, there were reported incidents of insecurity in Borno and Yobe States, on the morning of 23 February. IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) were however allowed to exercise their right to vote. Another attack on Maiduguri (Borno State) on 23rd February left one solider dead and 20 wounded. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack which took place just hours before the opening of polling stations. It was the first time that Boko Haram had targeted Maiduguri with heavy weaponry although the city has suffered several attacks by Group.

  • In the far north region of Cameroon, security is still unstable and uncertain with the Boko Haram group carrying out attacks on the Cameroonian side of the border. These attacks included kidnappings, killings, lootings, burning of villages and food items. Towards the end of February, over 40,000 Nigerian refugees who had arrived in January 2019 and settled at the Goura provisional camp returned to Rann, Nigeria. In addition, Goura town received a refugee influx of some 40,000 Nigerian refugees that had fled incessant attacks by non-state armed groups. This return follows the visit to Goura on 26th February, of a high-level government of Nigeria delegation, which included the Deputy Governor of Borno State and the Mayor of Rann. There has however been an increase in the number of Cameroonian armed forces along the border with Nigeria geared towards protecting people and property as well as preventing attacks in the area.

  • In Chad, there was increased volatility in the security situation following the deployment of Chadian troops as part of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), against non-state actors. On 19 February, the village of Bourboura, in the sub-prefecture of Ngouboua, was attacked by Boko Haram militants, leaving five people dead and another five wounded. The militants also took 12 hostages from the nearby village of Ngatia including eight women. The day after the attack, 600 households left Bourboura to settle in Bourga, six kilometres southwest of Ngouboua fearing further hostilities. On the nights of 23 – 24 February, soldiers from the Baga Sola military camp were rounded-up from the nearby town in part because the alert level has been raised to high. The act triggered panic among the surrounding population as well as humanitarian actors.

  • In Niger, the security situation was characterised by attacks by subversive elements. On 15 February, an FDS (Forces de Défense et de Sécurité) position was attacked in the Chetimari commune (20km from Diffa), killing six soldiers and wounding seven. Another attack on 17 February on Garina Amadou village near the city of Bosso. This is the first suicide attack in the region since 2015. One refugee was killed, as well as a civilian.

OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • As part of the 90-Day Humanitarian Response Plan in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, UNHCR, and other partner agencies, accelerated response mechanisms in order to meet the immediate life-saving needs of an estimated 280,000 newly displaced persons in 16 priority Local Government Areas (LGAs).

  • UNHCR and the Government of Niger has worked on developing long-term urban settlement responses in Diffa region, that aims to empower both displaced persons and local communities by easing access to land for sustainable housing. This second phase of the two phased urbanization programme, which started in 2016 (first phase 2014 – 2016), has already made land parcels available to over 7,500 households (including 5,000 made available during the first phase) from both the refugee community and the underserved and impoverished local communities. The programme which targets an estimated 4,000 houses has had multiple benefits including such as the provision of sustainable housing to underserved populations, and employment creation for local populations, refugees and internally displaced persons.

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