African Press Association

Thousands left stranded in offensive against Boko Haram

from AHMED OBAFEMI in Maiduguri, Nigeria
MAIDUGURI – SOME 10 000 civilians have been left stranded after the Nigerian military forced them to leave their homes ahead of planned operations against the Boko Haram terror group.

800 000 hostages freed from Boko Haram. Photo, file picture

The military ordered the immediate departure of and forced the relocation of the civilians in the middle of the night, without prior warning, from Jakana town, before transporting them by buses and trucks to a camp for internally displaced people.

They have been forced to relocate to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, a town 40 kilometers away.

Edward Kallon, the United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, lamented that the entire town of Jakana was emptied and people  were forced to move to Maiduguri with little time to collect personal belongings.

“Some people said they arrived in Maiduguri with nothing, not even with shoes on their feet,” Kallon said.

He urged the Nigerian government to urgently provide safety, shelter, food, water and medical care to the displaced civilians, in addition to information about when they will be allowed to return home.

The military said the civilians were relocated for security reasons

Nigeria is under siege from the Islamist terror group Boko Haram.

The insurgent group has killed an estimated 100 000 civilians and displaced more than 2 million others since it started the terror ten years ago.

– CAJ News