Thousands Flee Niger Town Following Boko Haram Attack

Posted: 
06/08/16
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons

Niger –  Thousands of people have reportedly fled the town of Bosso in Niger’s southeast region of Diffa, following an attack on a government military post by Boko Haram insurgents on Friday (3/6). Fighting reportedly continued through the weekend, but according to the authorities, Nigerien forces have now regained control of the town.

No official figures relating to displacement have yet been released, but Bosso reportedly appears deserted. IOM and partner agencies will take part in an assessment mission to the area this week.

People fleeing the fighting, which resulted in heavy casualties on both sides, reportedly headed for the towns of Toumour and Diffa. Others went to a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the area, that is already nearing its 10,000-person capacity, according to UN officials.

The UN has not had a presence in Bosso since Boko Haram raids on the town started a year and a half ago. But reports suggest that many of the Bosso IDPs are sleeping in the open and urgently need food, shelter and medical assistance.

“IOM is working with the government and our international partners to assess the situation. We are ready to deliver aid for up to 6,500 families (45,500 people), including 4,000 shelter kits, 2,500 non-food item (NFI) kits and 7,000 tarpaulins, said IOM Niger Chief of Mission Giuseppe Loprete. IOM has co-led the Working Group for Shelter and NFI provision in Niger since 2012.

The latest attack was among the deadliest by Boko Haram in Niger since it began launching raids in the country in February 2015 from its stronghold in neighboring Nigeria. At least 240,000 people have been displaced in the Diffa region since then.

Boko Haram’s seven-year insurgency has devastated infrastructure in Nigeria’s impoverished northeast and forced around 2.1 million people in the country to flee their homes, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix. The unrest has left at least 20,000 people dead in Nigeria and made over 2.6 million people homeless.

For further information, please contact Fatou Ndiaye at IOM Niger. Tel: +227-20-75-25-07, Email: fndiaye@iom.int

IOM works with IDPs in Diffa region. Photo : Amanda Nero / IOM.