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Posts tagged ‘International Rescue Committee’

United Nations High Commission for Refugees57,000 Nigerians now refugees.


 

Despite  the fact that Nigeria is not at war, Nigerians are now refugees in neighbouring countries as more than 57,000 people have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic as a result of insurgency by Boko Haram, according to the United Nations.

The world body also disclosed that about half a million people have been internally displaced in the country which it described as a very alarming situation.

Spokesperson of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Mr Adrian Edwards, who spoke with reporters in Geneva said of 57,000 people who fled Nigeria, 17,000 are registered as Nigerians while the rest are nationals from neighbouring countries who have

been living in Nigeria for ages.
He disclosed that Niger received the majority — some 40,000 concentrated in the Diffa region, a desert in the country’s eastern edge.

According to him, many of those fleeing North-Eastern Nigeria are traumatized and left with very few possessions, adding that besides the Lake Chad area, some of the new arrivals are from the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.

57,000 flee to Cameroon,  Chad, Niger

He said: “Since Nigeria declared a state of emergency in the three states in May 2013, more than 57,000 people have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Some 17,000 of these are registered Nigerian refugees. The rest are nationals of the surrounding countries who had been living in Nigeria for decades.”

Edwards noted that newly arrived refugees interviewed by the staff of the UNHCR in Niger have spoken of atrocities on the shores of Lake Chad in Borno State.

According to him, “One woman described corpses strewn through houses and floating in the water. She said people feared staying even to bury their dead or find missing relatives. Others recounted fleeing a village shooting incident and said women and children were being kidnapped and taken away by unidentified assailants.

“We’ve had some other accounts of shooting in villages there with women and children being kidnapped and taken away. So, it’s really a spreading of this horrible conflict we’re seeing outside of the towns and into some of the rural areas of North-East Nigeria.

“It’s hard for us to get full visibility of the situation inside North-East Nigeria, simply because we don’t have the access. And you have to remember that in addition to people fleeing Nigeria, you have got close to half a million people internally displaced inside the country. And that’s according to the government’s figures. So, these are really very high numbers and reflects what seems to be a very alarming situation.

2,000 people cross to Niger

“The latest attacks are reported to have begun in mid‑February and were continuing five days ago. In all, some 2,000 people have crossed into south‑east Niger’s Diffa region over the past four weeks.

“In addition to the attacks on Lake Chad, some of the new arrivals have come from areas near Borno’s state capital, Maiduguri, that have been affected by fighting.”

He maintained that the UNHCR reiterates to all parties to the conflict in north‑eastern Nigeria, the vital importance of protecting civilians from harm.

He said the UNHCR was working with partners, including the International Rescue Committee, the governments of the neighbouring countries, to try and ensure that countries keep their borders open and also ensure that they help people on arrival.

Wounded Boko Haram members captured —DHq

Meanwhile, following military bombardments of Boko Haram terrorists by the Nigerian Army using artillery fire and infantry soldiers swooping on their camps, scores of the insurgents have been captured as they attempted to flee across the borders through Lake Chad and Cameroon as well as Niger.

Vanguard gathered that the bombardment was jointly carried out by the Nigerian Air Force using Mi‑35 helicopter gunships while the army launched its offensive from the ground.

A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said: “Scores of wounded terrorists who escaped from various camps under the fire of security forces have been captured in the fringes of Lake Chad.

“The captured terrorists, some of whom are fatally wounded, are already making useful statements to interrogators of the Multi‑National Joint Task Force.

“Others were captured by troops in locations around Dikwa, Cross Kauwa, Kukawa and Alargarmo.

“In their confessions, it was revealed that some of the camps have been disbanded following the directive of their clerics who declared that the operation of the sect had come to an end as the mission could no longer be sustained.

“The terrorists, who are giving useful information as to the locations of their remnant forces, are full of apologies and pleas for their lives to be spared, promising to cooperate.

Starvation major problem

“They confirmed that starvation was a major problem in addition to ceaseless bombardments on the camp locations even when they kept relocating.

“They also confirm that several members of the group have been wounded and no treatment was forth coming. Troops have continued their assault on other locations across the states covered by the state of emergency.

“Meanwhile, members of the public who have started visiting to engage in sight seeing in some dislodged camps and fringes of  forests such as Sambisa and others have been warned to desist from doing so as the tendency will no more be condoned where operations are still ongoing.

“The general area still remains a theatre and movement remains restricted as the environment has to be cleared for safety of citizens.The public will be informed when the locations are safe enough.”

BY MICHAEL EBOH & EDIRI EJOH

Source: Radio Biafra.

Aid Agency Chief: Syrian Refugees Creating ‘Regional Crisis’.


Image: Aid Agency Chief: Syrian Refugees Creating 'Regional Crisis'Syrian refugees walk among tents at the Karkamis refugee camp near Gaziantep, Turkey.

By Wanda Carruthers

In light of upcoming international peace talks between the opposing sides in Syria’s civil war, former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the numbers of refugees resulting from the war has created a “regional crisis” that demands attention.

“This is a regional crisis that demands a big international engagement,” Miliband, who is also president and CEO of aid agency International Rescue Committee, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday.

The conflict in Syria has resulted in a “scale of brutality … that hasn’t been seen for a very long time,” Miliband said.

As a result, millions of people are taking refuge in neighboring countries. He called for the international response to be “massively scaled up.”

Invitations were sent to 40 countries for a one-day meeting this week of foreign ministers for peace talks in Switzerland. Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League special envoy to Syria, will moderate the meeting.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the three-year conflict between Syrian rebels and the government of President Bashar Assad. Miliband maintained the upcoming peace talks would not end the war, but could bring attention to how the war is waged.

“I think it’s important to say that this peace conference, so called, no one believes it’s going to bring peace tomorrow. But it can address the conduct of the war, in terms of the targeting of civilians, in terms of the starving of the people in Aleppo [Syria],” he said.

Half of the Syrian population has been displaced from their homes into neighboring countries like Lebanon, Turley and Jordan, Miliband explained. He said the majority of those affected are “relatively middle-class people whose lives have been completely shattered.”

“The people caught in the middle are civilians,” he said. “The figures are what make this a potentially toxic crisis.”

“What you’ve got is kids without education. You’ve got parents who’ve lost loved ones. Sons, husbands, who’ve been killed. Who’ve lost everything at home. Who’ve been totally traumatized,” he added.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Report: Most Rape Victims in Conflict Zones Are Children.


LONDON — Most victims of sexual violence in conflict zones are children who are suffering rape and abuse at an appalling rate, said campaigners who described the attacks as the “hidden horrors of war.”

In the worst-affected countries, such as Liberia and Sierra Leone, children made up more than 70 percent of victims, said a report by charity Save the Children published on Wednesday.

The study contained harrowing stories of children being killed after being raped and of others who were abducted and abused by armed forces and groups. It also said children as young as two were being attacked by opportunistic predators including teachers, religious leaders and peacekeepers.

Many survivors were cast out from society after the attacks.

“It is shocking that in conflict zones around the world, children are being raped and abused at such an appalling rate,” said Save the Children chief executive Justin Forsyth. “Sexual violence is one of those hidden horrors of war and the damage it wreaks ruins lives.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has been campaigning to raise awareness of the issue and recently met victims in Democratic Republic of Congo with actress and U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie.

The issue will be on the agenda at a meeting of G8 countries’ foreign ministers hosted by Hague in London on Wednesday and Thursday.

Save the Children found more than half of victims of sexual violence in conflict zones were children. It cited a study in Liberia, still recovering from a civil war that ended a decade ago, which found more than 80 percent of victims in 2011-12 were younger than 17. Almost all were raped.

In post-conflict Sierra Leone, more than 70 percent of the sexual violence cases seen by the International Rescue Committee were girls under 18, and more than a fifth of those were under 11, the report said.

In Democratic Republic of the Congo nearly two-thirds of sexual violence cases recorded by the United Nations in 2008 involved children, mostly adolescent girls.

Save the Children spoke to a girl named Pamela, in Democratic Republic of Congo, who was attacked and raped near a refugee camp where she had fled after her village was attacked.

“I’d been in the camp for three days. I’d gone to collect water, and as I was leaving the water point I met three boys. They grabbed me. One took my legs and the other took my hands. I tried to fight them off.

“After the rape I wanted to leave the house and return home. But the people told my mother and she said I had to stay there. I didn’t want a husband because I was still a girl.”

Rejected by her community, Pamela was forced to stay with her attacker and become his wife. He abandoned her when she was seven months’ pregnant.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

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