The United Nations says it is worried by upsurge in violence in the northeast of Nigeria that’s forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes.
It came after clashes between military forces and insurgents on December 26 in Baga triggered massive displacement
More than 30,000 internally displaced people have arrived in Maiduguri, mainly from Baga, in recent weeks.
The town is on the shores of Lake Chad, some 200 km north of Maiduguri.
Men, women and children displaced from Baga are converging on already congested camps or sites for internally displaced people in Maiduguri or Monguno town, said the United Nations humanitarian coordinator Edward Kallon.
Another attempted attack on Monguno on December 28 displaced more people.
“The impact of the recent fighting on innocent civilians is devastating and has created a humanitarian tragedy,” said Kallon, after a visit to Monguno and to Teachers Village camp for internally displaced people in Maiduguri.
“It is heart-wrenching to see so many of these people living in congested camps, or sleeping outside with no shelter. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and the United Nations is extremely concerned about the impact that violence in north-east Nigeria, especially in Borno State, is having on civilians.”
Some 260 aid workers have been withdrawn from three local government areas (Monguno, Kala/Balge and Kukawa) affected by the conflict since November, affecting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people, said Kallon.
It is the largest withdrawal of aid workers since the international humanitarian response scaled up in 2016.
The agency said while aid workers have started to return to some areas to respond to the urgent, life-saving needs, the lack of a secure operating environment is preventing a return to normal humanitarian activities.