Boko Haram: ‘Some 27,000 Civilians’ Killed In Three States – UN
The United Nations has put the estimated number of civilians killed in the Boko Haram insurgency between 2009 and 2019 at 27,000.
According to UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, the killings were recorded in three most-affected states – Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe – where communities, villages, and towns across the states have been devastated.
He made the remark on Wednesday in Abuja at an event to solemnly mark the 10th year of the crisis in the North-east and to remember the millions of people affected.
“The crisis that started ten years ago is still far from over,” Kallon said.
He added, “We are here today to remember those who have lost their lives in the conflict and to remind of those still struggling to survive and rebuild their lives.
“Ten years on, it is not the time for us to spare any effort. In this very critical period, we must collectively redouble efforts, with support at all levels – locally, nationally and internationally.”
The event was attended by members of the humanitarian community in Nigeria, including international and local non-governmental organisations among others.
They emphasised the immense humanitarian needs caused by the crisis and the necessity to continue scaling up life-saving assistance.
The humanitarian community also reiterated their commitment to alleviating the suffering of people in the three states.
They also reaffirmed their resolve to work together to help people not only survive but also rebuild their lives and their communities.
In her remarks, President of the Nigeria NGO Network on Humanitarian Development Initiative (NINGONET), Ms Josephine Habba said, “We have to pay attention to the needs and rights of people, especially those of women and children, and support local organisations to play a more visible role in the response.
“The protracted crisis in the North-east is of matter to the entire country. We don’t want this crisis to last another 10 years.”
The gathering was held around the launch of a virtual reality experience and photo exhibition open to the public being held at Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja from 1 to 15 August.
According to a statement from the UN, the virtual reality experience is an opportunity for Nigerians and all in the capital to see first-hand how the crisis is impacting the lives of fellow citizens living in conflict-stricken areas.
“The Holding On exhibition transports viewers into the homes and communities of internally displaced people who share the evocative stories of their displacement and the significance of the single possession they are holding on to.
“This is the first time the exhibition visits one of the countries where these stories originate from and it is a unique opportunity for the people of Nigeria to experience these testimonies through their own eyes,” said Mr Richard Danziger who is IOM Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
The UN said the humanitarian crisis has remained among one of the most severe in the world with 7.1 million people in need of life-saving assistance and 1.8 million people uprooted from their homes – the vast majority of them women and children.
It, however, noted that the humanitarian community has significantly scaled up collective efforts in recent years, and reached nearly six million people with life-saving assistance in 2018.