THE United Nations refugee agency has said more than 36,000 refugees fled from Nigeria, Mali, and Burkina Faso to Niger between January and mid-April 2022.
The agency said it brought the total number of refugees in Niger to 360,000.
According to a report by Yahoo, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it “is concerned by these rising numbers as attacks on civilians prompting displacement increase in both frequency and violence.
UNHCR representative, Emmanuel Gignac, was quoted as saying, “I’m afraid that we will be getting regular influxes into Niger for as long as there is trouble in the countries surrounding us.”
UNHCR said Nigerian refugees are fleeing increased looting, expropriation of property, assault, and kidnapping by armed bandits in Katsina and sokoto States “while displacement from Burkina Faso is caused by ongoing and spreading insecurity.”
“The refugees, mostly women, and children need shelter, food and water, non-food items, and access to basic services such as healthcare and education.
“The fact that they are arriving and settling in some of Niger’s driest areas makes their situation even more precarious.
“Food prices have risen dramatically in Niger. The ongoing food security crisis triggered by a poor 2021 farming season is putting further at risk already vulnerable refugees and local communities alike,” the agency said.
The unstable regions of Tahou and Tillaberi, in the tri-border region between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, have since 2017 seen deadly attacks linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which is also very active in Mali et au (and) Burkina Faso.
The of Niger, especially the Diffa border region with Nigeria, is prey to attacks from the Nigerian jihadist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province.