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Cameroon: After Boko Haram attack in Far North, hundreds of desperate IDPs flee – UNHCR

One thousand five hundred terrified internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Cameroon including terrified residents of Nguetchewe, the village in Mayo-Moskota hosting them, have fled to the nearby town of Mozogo for safety, according to the UN Refugee Agency’s spokesperson Babar Baloch at a press briefing at Palais des Nations in Geneva.

While strongly condemning the “unprovoked and brutal attack on a site hosting 800 internally displaced people (IDPs),” the UNHCR says it is “deploying an emergency mission to assess the situation and evaluate the protection and health needs of those affected.”

Local reports say at least 18 people were killed and 11 injured in the attack which occurred during the early hours of Sunday, August 2, when assailants threw an explosive device, thought to be a grenade, into the makeshift camp while people were sleeping.

Attacks in Cameroon’s Far-North have been on the rise in July,  accompanied by  looting and kidnapping by Boko Haram and other armed groups active in the region. The Region situated in between Nigeria’s Borno and Adamawa states and Lake Chad, is home to some 321,886 IDPs and 115,000 Nigerian refugees, according to the United Nations. 

Violence in the Lake Chad Basin region has forced more than three million people to flee: 2,7m are internally displaced in Northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, while 292,682 Nigerian refugees fled into neighbouring countries.

Authorities in Cameroon have recorded 87 Boko Haram attacks since January 2020 on its northern border with Nigeria.

Violent attacks by the insurgency have cost the lives of 30,000 people and displaced more than 3 million in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. 

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