The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Regional Representative for West Africa, Liz Ahua, says massive displacement in Nigeria’s North-East zone poses great dangers of statelessness for victims. She said that if urgent actions were not to be taken, some of the 2.4 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, or refugees residing in neighbouring countries could lose their nationality and become stateless. She explained that displacement, whether caused by conflicts or natural disasters, was a root cause of statelessness which further increases the risk, if not urgently and properly tackled. She said that it could also become an obstacle to achieving durable solutions for displaced persons and prevent them from rebuilding their lives in dignity as well as impede return and relocation. The crises in the Lake Chad Basin region is a prime example where over 2.4 million people have been displaced by the conflict, including over 1.8 million IDPs in Nigeria. Over 200,000 Nigerians are living as refugees in neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad, and Cameroon without adequate documentation.
The Borno Government said on Sunday that is planning to evacuate 78,000 Internally Displaced Persons back home from Cameroon. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this immigrants fled to Cameroon at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency in the state. The government plans to shelter the returnees in four temporary satellite camps: “Once they are back we will get them transported to transit camps in Kumshe, Gulumba, Ngoshe and Kirawa where they will feed for a week or thereabout, so they can stabilize before asking them where they want to go. Those whose communities are unsafe will be kept in the camps while those who want to return home will be transported home”, mr. Satome said, Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency.
Libyan authorities released on Wednesday 28 Eritreans and seven Nigerians who were captured and enslaved by Islamic State in Sirte and had been held in detention since the jihadist group lost the city in December. The group of women had been kidnapped by IS when they tried to flew to Europe. They escaped from Sirte, but they had been jailed in Misrata prison during several months, after the conquest of the city by Misrata groups. According to the victims, conditions in Misrata was really difficult, they suffered of starvation and humiliation. They are now under UNHCR’s protections.
The State Health Commissioner, Balarabe Kakale, confirmed that in Sokoto State meningitis cases are increasing, resulting in the death of 21 deaths. The death were recorded in seven local government particularly affected by this outbreak: Kebbe, Bodinga, Rabah, Wamakko, Gada, Dange/Shunj and Tureta. The state government had deployed across the 23 local governments several medical teams comprising over one hundred medical personnel and provided of free drugs and medicament. The team went around the houses in the villages, treatening around 300 cases of malaria and meningitis: out of the 330 cases, 40 were confirmed in the laboratories to be cases of meningitis, out of which 14 fatalities were recorded, but thousands of other cases were treated at the Primary Health Centres in the local governments. Some cases are imported from other states, moreover the traditional belief in witchcraft makes it difficult to fight the disease: the families refuses to take suspected patients to the hospital even with the typical meningitis symptoms: “The people of the state should disregard rumours of witchcraft and take all suspected persons to the hospitals early. Keeping them at home will only make the disease worse and cause transmission to other members of the family”.
Nigeria’s distributable government revenues fell to N429.127 billion naira in February from N465.19 billion in January due to lower oil prices (which fell from $49.57 to $44.74 per barrel durign February). The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation declared ina statement that the fall was determinated by the sabotage of the nation’s oil pipelines by Niger Delta militants. Infact the pruduction of the oil diminished in that period beacuse of the leakages in the pipelines. Nigeria is an OPEC member, had been hit by the fall in global crude prices since mid 2014 and last year entered in its first recession. Militants have carried out attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta energy hub for a year, cutting oil production, they want the oil hub to share the country’s energy.
More than 2600 Nigerian refugees (from the beginning of the year), settled in the north of Cameron, were sent back to Nigeria (with the use of violence) because of the fear of Boko Haram attacks, denounced the Top Commissioner of of the UN for the refugees ( UNHCR) durign a press briefing. According to UNHCR staff, the refugees explained that Cameroonian troops embarked them agains their will and “without leaving them the time to gather their stuff”, underlining that this dismissals of strenght are against the international law. The UNHCR says to be very warried because these rimpatriations (which seems motivated by safety) continue even though the agency of the UNO signed an agreement between Cameroon and Nigeria about voluntary return of Nigerian refugees.
In November 2016 President Muhammadu Buhari authorised the payment of 522.74 billion to 36 states, to settle arrears of workers’ salaries, retirees’ pension and gratuities. Nigerians, civil society and the media asked for details about how their governors would spent the money, but the federal government gave no details on tha matters. After many months the media found out that only few states had used the funds for the suggested purpose, and last week, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) confirmed that it was investigating suspected misuse of the funds. The states were in particular suspected of concealing the payment from the public and the civil servants. Only a few states like Kaduna and Plateau, voluntarily admitted receiving payments. The financial minister, Mrs. Adeosun, explained that there was an agreement with states that a first ammount of each state’s claim would be paid, but the balances due would be paid when the country’s financial situation improves. The executive director of SERAP (Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project) Adetokunbo Mumuni, said states should be compelled to publish what they collected and details of spending, either on a dedicated website or other media, to enable the people know what the monies were used for.