Nigeria: 1,471 Villagers Displaced in Military Invasion of Benue Community

Over 1,471 persons have been displaced by the military's recent invasion of Konshisha local government area of Benue State.

Among the displaced persons are 810 children who now sleep in the cold and without access to basic amenities such as water, food and shelter in the internally displaced persons (IDP's) camps.

The children were among the IDPs profiled at the three IDPs' camps where there are also 60 nursing mothers and 19 pregnant women.

The figures were contained in a report produced by Jireh Doo Foundation (JDF) during its assessment of conditions of persons affected by the crisis, which was made available to LEADERSHIP in Makurdi, the state capital

The needs assessment by JDF was conducted at the three IDPs' camps in Aku, Gungul and Gungul Main Town.

The group said it visited the scenes where great destruction was done at Aku and Gungul, Konshisha local government area from 16th to 18th April, 2021, adding that an assessment and registration were conducted and 1,471 IDPs were enrolled of which 810 were children.

According to the report, "The attack led to the loss of food items, seedlings, sleeping materials, clothes, economic trees, kitchen utensils, cars, motorcycles, shops; nearly all kinds of valuables and houses were completely burnt down, rendering most victims of the attacks completely homeless and unable to get back to their livelihood."

In its breakdown of the number of the IDPs in each of camp, JDF said "a total of 412 IDPs were registered at Aku community with 12 pregnant women, 20 nursing mothers and 181 children

"After registration (at Gungul), a total of 265 IDPs were reached, with three pregnant women, 15 nursing mothers and 153 children.

"For Gungul Main Town, a total of 794 IDPs were registered, with four pregnant women, 22 nursing mothers and 423 children."

Some traditional rulers in the affected communities told LEADERSHIP that "Our people are actually staying in camps but dispersed during the day for fear that the military may return to attack them, citing what happened in Zaki-Biam, where the community members gathered and the military came and opened fire on them.

"People are forced to sleep outside their burnt houses with little or no basic amenities especially sleeping materials, blankets, shelter, water, food and buckets to even take a bath," they said.

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