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Banki, the new safe haven for people fleeing from Boko Haram

Banki, the new safe haven for people fleeing from Boko Haram


The northern Nigerian town of Banki on the border with Cameroon has become a new safe haven for people fleeing the wrath of Boko Haram.

Banki was taken by the Islamist militant group in September 2014 but was recaptured by the Nigerian army a year later.

Yagana recounted to AFP her eventful escape from the clutches of the militant group.

“As we were fleeing, Boko Haram stopped us. They beat my husband and took him away,” she said.

But having found shelter for herself and her baby, her thoughts are now constantly on her husband.

“I keep dreaming about my husband. Life is difficult without him. I can’t get him out of my mind,” Yagana said.

With scores of displaced people now seeking shelter in the town, meeting their nutritional needs has become a daunting task as AbdulKadir Musse of UNICEF explained.

“At the moment, the critical urgent gap we see in all the IDP camps is the availability of food. People could not cultivate in the last two years; still they do not have access to their cultivation areas … all livelihoods are being lost. That’s why we see high rates of malnutrition.”

The militant group which appears to relentless in its quest to set up a caliphate of sorts in northern Nigeria has been lost hold of some of its key areas to the Nigerian army whose warfare now includes targeted air strikes.

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