Nigeria: Boko Haram crisis forced ‘1.5M people’ to flee


The number of women left widows because of the conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian army is also staggering, Red Cross notes

ABUJA, Nigeria – Up to 1.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes following the Boko Haram crisis and the resulting military operations in Nigeria’s northeastern region, the International Committee of the Red Cross has said.

“The conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian army has forced more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes. The number of women left widows is staggering,” the Red Cross said in tweet Tuesday.

The tweet also shared a link to a video about the widows, who narrated their ordeals in the crisis. The footage suggested that an estimated 7,000 widows had been registered in Maiduguri alone.

Maiduguri, the birthplace of the insurgency in early 2000, is the capital city of northeastern Borno state, which has been the worst hit since the crisis turned increasingly violent in 2009.

Aisha Ibrahim Ishaku, one of the widows empowered by the Red Cross and featured in the video, narrated how militants abducted her 19-year-old son and then shot her husband, who later died as the couple fled their village in the region.

“Being a widow is very difficult, even to find a job,” she said, lamenting how hard it was to find shelter and feed the family.