Nigerian violence ‘forcing people to flee to Niger’

Africa

Violence in north-western Nigeria is causing people to flee into neighbouring Niger, where violence is also on the rise, warned the United Nations.

Fear of armed groups and communal clashes in Nigeria had sent nearly 7,660 Nigerians fleeing into Niger’s southern Maradi region since the beginning of the year, said the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

“Most of the refugees are women and children, displaced following recent attacks in Nigeria’s Sokoto state,” said UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov.

The Maradi region, in southern Niger, now hosts nearly 100,000 displaced people, including 77,000 Nigerian refugees, who have fled relentless attacks in Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states.

Armed groups in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions have been fuelling one of the world’s “fastest-growing displacement and protection crises”, with millions forced from their homes, says the UNHCR.

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