Banditry has forced more than 60,000 Nigerians to become refugees in neighbouring Niger Republic, the United Nations High Commission for refugees said on Tuesday. 

Spokesperson for the commission, Babar Baloch said in a briefing that some 20,000 Nigerians in the North-West were forced across the border into the former French colony by the bandits.

Since April 2020, about 23,000 persons in the region have been rendered homeless by the attacks and forced to flee for safety.  


“Ongoing violence in parts of North-Western Nigeria forced an estimated 23,000 people to seek safety and security in Niger last month,” the agency said in a statement.

“Fearing and fleeing the same insecurity in the border areas, an additional 19,000 Niger nationals have become displaced inside their own country,” the commission added. 

The bandits, who terrorised Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto in April, have now stretched the army too thin, the commission observed.

With how dire the situation is, Mr Baloch said, “We are working closely with authorities in Niger to relocate at least 7,000 refugees to safety where water, food, shelter, access to health and other essential assistance can be provided.

“Discussions are also ongoing with the authorities to recognize on a prima facie basis the refugees fleeing Nigeria and arriving in the region,” he said.

The deadliest attack reported by the agency in April, was the murder of 47 persons by the unrelenting miscreants.

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