28, July 2016
The United Nations (UN) has voiced concern about alarming conditions in the Lake Chad region, where it says more than nine million people are in dire need of food aid due to militancy by a Takfiri terrorist group. UN humanitarian aid chief Stephen O’Brien said on Wednesday that militant activities by the Takfiri Boko Haram group has left over nine million people in need of urgent food aid in the region. Seven million of them, he said, are in Nigeria.
The four countries of Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria are located in the Lake Chad region. He said more than 2.8 million people have been displaced in northeastern Nigeria and parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger, following attacks by Boko Haram, which is based in Nigeria. “If we do not act now, the human suffering will only get more extreme,” O’Brien said, adding that, “We have to stop this — we can with will, money, urgency and coordination.”
The UN humanitarian aid chief said that the violent campaign by the Takfiri group “is as much or now even more a humanitarian catastrophe as it is a security priority.” Boko Haram has coerced more than 50 children to carry out suicide bombings from January to June of this year, O’Brien said.
Boko Haram started its campaign of militancy in 2009 with the aim of toppling the central government in Nigeria. The terrorist group has expanded its attacks into neighboring countries, notably Cameroon and Chad, in a conflict estimated to have claimed a total of 17,000 lives and forced over 2.6 million others from their homes. The group has pledged allegiance to Daesh, another Takfiri terrorist group mainly operating in Syria and Iraq.