THE United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has reported that over 60,000 Nigerians have fled the country seeking safety in Niger Republic between April 2019 to 2020.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland, UNHRC Spokesperson, Babar Baloch said this is due to the constant attacks by armed groups on the region.
According to him, the attacks on Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states have pushed so many Nigerians to Maradi region in Niger Republic.
He said the fleeing refugees speak of extreme violence unleashed against civilians, murders, kidnappings for ransom and pillaging and looting of villages.
“New arrivals are in urgent need of water, food and access to health services, as well as shelter and clothing as many were barely able to carry anything in the rush to save lives,” he said.
Baloch said the UNHCR is concerned about deteriorating security inside Nigeria and the risk of armed incursions spilling over into Niger.
Baloch said the new set of refugees are mainly desperate women and children who fled as a result of attacks in Nigeria’s Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states during the month of April adding that several villages in several Local Government Areas in the region were attacked by gunmen.
“The deadliest attack claimed 47 lives in Kankara, Danmusa and Dusi-ma Local Government Areas in Katsina State and prompted airstrikes by the Nigerian Armed Forces,” Baloch noted.