…….Mali, Burkina Faso records 302,000 IDPs
By Kemi Yesufu
The Republic of Niger has identified Nigeria as one of the countries that contributed to the spike in the number of refugees within its territory.
The country further identified the increased movement of refugees into its boarders as a major reason for growing insecurity in the various border areas, particularly the southern Niger (Maradi region).
Presenting Niger’s country report at the ongoing 2nd Second Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Hon. Sawani Karimomu, disclosed that an estimated 40,000 Nigerians have settled in the southern part of his country, with the total number of Nigerians who took refuge in the country put at 119,541.
“The massive influx of refugees is imputable to the growing insecurity in the various border areas, especially in southern Niger (Maradi region), where more than 40,000 Nigerians have settled”, he said.
Still from the ECOWAS Parliament, Mali and Burkina Faso on Friday said that their countries now have over 187,139 and 115,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) respectively.
Hon. Fomba Niambali, a member of parliament from Mali, said that 920 schools have been closed with 187,139 IDPs recorded in Mali as at September 2019, blaming the current situation on attacks in some parts of the country.
According to her, Menaka, Mopti and Kidal regions has the highest number of children out of school.
She said: “As of 30th September 2019, the country had 138,900 refugees, the asylum countries are Burkina Faso with 25,721, Mauritania 56,680 and Niger 56,499 refugees.
“The number of Internally Displaced Persons in the country has almost doubled from 84,285 in February 2019. The number has now risen to 187,139 individuals, from March 1 to September 30, an increase of 102,854 was recorded.
“Following the deterioration of the security situation in the centre and North of the country, the displaced population is composed of 54 per cent women, 46 per cent men, 53 per cent children under 18 years and 4 per cent of aged people.”
Niambali said that Mali has been facing unprecedented and multidimensional crisis since 2012 which requires Malians to engage in dialogue.
On his part, Hon. Jeremie Sankara, member of the ECOWAS parliament from Burkina Faso, said that the country was currently hosting about 25,000 Malian refugees in the Northern part of the country.
He said growing insecurity has seen about 115,000 nationals of Burkina Faso becoming IDPs, 11,000 persons fled to neighbouring countries.
He disclosed that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees(UNHCR) has provided shelter and emergency aid within his country.