Boko Haram: 8 out of 10 displaced people afraid to return home in Borno

Boko Haram: 8 out of 10 displaced people afraid to return home in Borno

- About 86% of displaced people in Borno state are still too scared of Boko Haram to go home

- One of the reasons is that attacks against civilians are on the rise, and communities feel scared

- This was revealed in a new study by the Norwegian Refugee Council on the IDP camps

A whooping 86% of the 1.8 million Internally Displaced Persons in Borno state, have said they are still scared of going back to their communities months after the military liberated them from Boko Haram control.

This was revealed in a new study by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) tagged 'Too Scared to Return'.

Jan Egeland, NRC Secretary General, who is currently visiting Nigeria, said: “When 86 per cent of people tell us they aren’t ready to go home yet, we must listen. This cannot fall on deaf ears.

“People must decide to return of their own free will. Coercing communities to move home is a deadly recipe set to worsen the conflict.”

The NRC said it sought the opinion of 27,000 people in the research which it said was one of “the largest pieces of research carried out on the displaced population.”

Egeland explains: “60 per cent of people who are unwilling to return home in the immediate future cite insecurity as the main reason for staying put. Attacks against civilians are on the rise, and communities feel scared.

“The Nigerian military recently gained ground in the fight against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. In response, the armed group has stepped up attacks on soft targets, including markets and sites sheltering displaced people.”

On the other hand, many officials of the Nigerian government are keen to see communities move back home.

“While the end game is for communities to return home, the unfortunate truth is that pushing people back now will have harmful consequences.

“An overwhelming 85 per cent of people living in formal camps tell us they feel safer there than where they were before, despite the deplorable attacks on camps.

“Today I met a woman in Monguno town who fled her village two years ago after Boko Haram set it ablaze. She’s eager to bring her six children home, but she told me it’s too soon, that the armed group are still present,”‎ Egeland said.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Army kills 15 Boko Haram terrorists in Gwoza

Some of the reasons for their fears are explained in the report, which says: “Even if the security situation improves, half the displaced people interviewed say their houses were destroyed in the conflict."

“About 48 per cent of people interviewed do not have information about the current state of their homes, indicating that this figure could be much higher,” added Egeland.

The report recommends measures needed before they can return home safely.

“Firstly, the overall security situation must improve so communities feel safe. In addition, resources must be channelled into rebuilding homes and re-establishing livelihoods. It is important that displaced communities are involved in developing these programmes.

“People need a roof over their heads and the prospect of making a living, if they are to have any chance of rebuilding their lives.

“We are ready to work with the government to help displaced Nigerian’s return home. But movements must be voluntary, safe and informed,” the report stated.

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NAIJ.com earlier reported that the Nigerian army has given account of how brave soldiers were able to repel an attack carried out by Boko Haram terrorists killing 15 of them.

In a statement by Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman on Wednesday, October 11, the operation took place at Yamteke axis of Gwoza local government, Borno.

Boko Haram abducted my husband and the Gov't forgot about him - on NAIJ.com TV.

Source: Naija.ng

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