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99 schools in Niger reopen after one year

99 schools in Niger reopen after one year


UN and Niger have reinstated 99 of the 166 schools closed for more than a year in the southeast of Niger as a result of attacks of Boko Haram, UN said in a statement on Monday.

According to UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Niamey, the program of relocation launched in November allowed “5,913 students, 2,784 boys and 3,129 girls” to resume classes.

However, the execution of the project is handicapped by “persistence insecurity” and “the continuous migration” of people in the region, said the UN agency.

At the beginning of November, Niger government and Unicef had announced that more than 150 schools with 12,600 pupils were closed because of the attacks of the Islamic group Boko Haram in the Diffa region close to Nigeria.

Prime Minister of Niger, Brigi Rafini explained that the project is meant to take care of pupils in schools and protect them from the attacks of Boko Haram.

“Because most of the schools closed are situated in localities close to the Lake Chad with difficult edges of Komadougou Yobé, a river which marks the border between Niger and Nigeria”.

Certain establishments were closed after the very first attacks of the Islamists in February, 2015. Others more recently with the outbreak of the raids (treks), indicated to AFP, a local municipal person in charge.

Since February, 2015, Boko Haram had lunched bloody attacks in the zone of Diffa close to the northeast of Nigeria.The army has difficulty in containing the raids of the group.

According to Unicef, more than 2,000 schools were closed in Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger because of the jihadist group’s attacks.