Fear of renewed attacks by Boko Haram is prompting the exodus of 30,000+ people from the town of Rann. UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told reporters in Geneva on 29 January that the town's population ‘seems to be panicking; they are on the run as a pre-emptive measure to save their lives.’ Rann, near the border with Cameroon in northern Borno state, has already seen an exodus of 9,000 people to Cameroon after a Boko Haram attack on 14 January, killing 14 people. Baloch said that Cameroon had sent back the 9,000 refugees, and initially deployed troops as part of a multinational task force to protect the town, but that task force has now left. A recent upsurge in violence in northeastern Nigeria has driven more than 80,000 civilians to seek refuge in already crowded camps or in towns in Borno state, ‘where they are surviving in tough living conditions’. The hostilities have strained humanitarian operations there and forced aid workers to pull out from some locations.
Pray: for God’s comfort to all living in fear, or in desperate need in refugee camps. (Psalm 37:40)