Jihad in Nigeria proceeding as planned, reeking havoc on all who stand in its wake.
Boko Haram have displaced hundreds of thousands
Delegates from Nigeria’s many religious, ethnic and linguistic groups are meeting for a conference in Abuja to discuss the country’s future. The plight of the internally displaced is a reminder of unresolved tensions.
Nigerians living in the north east of their country live in constant fear of attacks by the militant Islamist sect Boko Haram. Many have therefore fled to neighboring countries or neighboring Nigerian states.
Laraba Ahmed Karwu works for the State Emergency Management Service (SEMA) in Gombe state. She is sitting in a comfortable stool watching a film on a laptop. A generator could he heard running outside.
Karwu is responsible for displaced persons in Gombe state, but she doesn’t appear to be very busy.
“80 percent of the returnees were originally residents of Gombe,” she said. “So when they come back, they know where they can turn to for inquiries about their relatives. In other words, they are not helpless,” she said.
Karwu was referring displaced persons mainly from the northeastern Nigerian states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where the government declared a state of emergency in May 2013 in response to attacks blamed on Boko Haram.
Thousands of people have been killed in the insurgency since it started in 2009. Nearly 300,000 people in the crisis-hit states have fled to other parts of Nigeria, according to estimates from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA).
Just as Karwu was explaining that returnees were only coming back in small numbers, an employee enters her office to report the arrival of a group of 200 refugees in the small village of Yamaltu Deba nearby.
Villagers helping refugees