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The Baga Massacre and UNHCR’s concern for the return of Nigerian refugees

3 January marked the beginning of an atrocious massacre committed by Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram at Baga town in Nigeria.

According to the UNHCR and Amnesty International, this has resulted in hundreds of dead and 3,700 buildings were damaged or destroyed. 14,638 people have fled to Chad, with about 774 people a day crossing the border. 5,000 fled inland to Borno state capital and 105 unaccompanied children are among refugees at the Ngouboua camp.

Some survivors have witnessed fighters of Boko Haram ran over people who were fleeing with their cars and pursued people in order to kill them.

Approximately 13,000 Nigerian refugees have been displaced to western Chad since the January 3-7 attacks on Baga.

On 16 January the UNHCR in Geneva expressed concern about Nigerian refugee’s returning given the volatile security situation in Borno state and the recent attacks by insurgents.

The UNHCR is waiting for approval from the authorities to stop this operation until the proper safeguards and legal framework between itself, Nigeria, and Niger are set.

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