Thousands of Nigerian refugees seek safety in Chad

Content provided by APO Group. CNBC Africa provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. CNBC Africa is not responsible for the content provided by APO Group.

Download logo

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.  A new upsurge of violence in northeastern Nigeria has forced thousands of people – most of them women and children – to seek safety in Chad’s Lake Chad region. An estimated 6,000 refugees have fled Nigeria's restive Borno State since 26 December, when clashes erupted between Nigerian government forces and non-state armed groups in Baga town, near the Chadian border. Many of the refugees paddled across the lake to arrive in the Chadian village of Ngouboua, located on the shores of Lake Chad, 20 kilometres from the Nigerian border. It takes three hours for the crossing. According to testimonies gathered by our teams, refugees are fleeing in fear of their lives after threats of retaliation and intimidation following militant attacks. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Chadian authorities are carrying out registration and pre-screening of new arrivals to evaluate the needs for assistance. An overwhelming majority of the new arrivals are women and children, with some 55 per cent of them being minors according to our initial registration data. Efforts are also underway by UNHCR to move arriving refugees away from the border areas, due to security concerns and after a government request. So far, we have relocated some 4,200 refugees to the already existing Dar-es-Salam camp 45 kilometres away. The camps already hosts some 11,300 Nigerian refugees who have arrived since 2014. We are racing to provide timely shelter and other assistance to those arriving, including the most vulnerable. Currently, new arrivals are hosted in collective shelters. UNHCR is distributing relief items including blankets, mats and mosquito nets and refugees are getting hot meals. Inside Nigeria, the same clashes have also forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes, with more than 30,000 people arriving in Maiduguri, stretching even further beyond their limits the capacities of existing camps already hosting internally displaced people. People are in need of humanitarian assistance, notably shelter, food, water and sanitation. UNHCR is also following up on the fate of some 9,000 Nigerian refugees who were reported as forcibly returned from Cameroon last week. Refugees had fled across the border into Cameroon when militants attacked and ransacked the small border town of Rann in Nigeria’s Borno State on 14 January 2019. UNHCR is reiterating its call on the countries in the region to keep borders open for refugees fleeing insecurity in Nigeria.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Partner Content


THE COVID-19 GLOBAL pandemic has brought forward the future. It has brought about humanity’s biggest challenge in a century, to choose between...

Mauritius-Africa, a partnership for shared prosperity

By: Mathieu Mandeng In the current complex and challenging circumstances that are testing the...


The City of eThekwini pulled out all stops to give fans of the annual Vodacom Durban July (VDJ). The Virtual Vodacom Durban...

GAUTRAIN – Why It Matters

Economic growth continues to be one of the focus areas for the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) and the Gautrain responds to that...

Trending Now

Can These Companies Solve The Plastic Waste Problem?

Plastics are useful. They're used to help make lifesaving medical supplies, lightweight, fuel-efficient car parts, and insulation for our homes. But nearly half of all plastic produced goes towards single-use items such as bags, straws, utensils and

South Africa’s Denel tells unions it can’t honour court ruling on salaries

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s struggling state defence firm Denel told trade unions on Friday that it cannot honour a court ruling...

Botswana diamond exports fall by two thirds on COVID-19

GABORONE (Reuters) - Botswana’s rough diamond exports plunged 68% percent in the second quarter of the year, data published by the central...

Samsung, Google, and Apple’s war for smartphone buyers: CNBC After Hours's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show,'s Todd Haselton explains what the upcoming seasons of smartphone releases might look like in an economy with 10.2% unemployment. Plus, CNBC's Dei

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

- Advertisement -