Niger: UNHCR Offers Aid to Victims of Attack That Killed 137 People

Tahoua — The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has moved to assist victims of the grisly attack in western Niger that killed 137 people.

"UNHCR is evaluating the needs and preparing to assist affected people with health care and to provide protection services, as populations may move towards nearby Intikane, Telemces and Tahoua, where we are, together with our partners, already providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, internally displaced and vulnerable people among their hosts," UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov said March 23.

On March 21, armed assailants on motorbikes attacked the villages of Intazayane, Bakorat and Wirsnat in Niger's Tahoua region, some 50 kilometres from the Malian border. Some of the injured were evacuated to Tahoua city, 150 kilometres away.

In Intikane, a large area designed to accommodate Malian refugees (20,000) and displaced Nigeriens (15,000) as well as their herds, 7,000 refugees were only just returning following an attack last May, when armed groups assassinated refugee leaders and a local host community leader. They had destroyed the main water station and pipes as well as phone tower, cutting communication and water supply to the displaced population and host communities.

Niger's Tahoua and Tillaberi regions, which border Burkina Faso and Mali, currently host 204,000 refugees and internally displaced people.

"UNHCR renews its urgent call on warring parties in the Sahel to protect civilians, people forced to flee and communities hosting them, as civilians are bearing the brunt of increasing attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger," Cheshirkov said.

According to UNHCR, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali in the Sahel are at the epicentre of one of the world's fastest-growing displacement and protection crises. The region is already hosting nearly three million refugees and people displaced inside their own country.

More From: CISA

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.