UN Chief Calls for Safe Return for Nigeria’s Displaced

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for the safe and “dignified” return of people displaced by conflict, as authorities close camps and urge people to go back to their communities.

More than 40,000 people have been killed and around 2.2 million people displaced by over a decade of fighting in the northeast between the military and Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

During a visit to a camp for displaced people in Maiduguri, Guterres praised the Governor’s efforts for development in Borno State, the epicentre of the conflict since 2009.

Authorities are planning to close all camps for displaced people in Borno by 2026 — but aid agencies are concerned about security and conditions on the ground in some of the communities to which they will return.

“Let’s do what we have to do about humanitarian support to these camps,” Guterres said.

“But let’s try to find a solution for people, and that solution is to create the conditions, security conditions, development conditions for them to be able to go back home in safety and dignity.”

Officials say they only return people to secure areas, with the goal of encouraging the resumption of farming and weaning people off humanitarian assistance.

Guterres also visited a rehabilitation camp for former jihadist fighters and called for more support for efforts to reintegrate them into society.

Credit: channelstv.com


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