The last two months of 2018 was not an interesting one for some Nigerians in the northeast. 

It was a period of horror, scare and unprecedented race for their lives. 

Activities of Boko Haram had re-surged in the northeast, forcing thousands of people out of their homes.

It gives a feeling of deja vu, casting minds back to a period prior to the 2015 general elections. 

In an update of developments in the northeast, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday gave a figure of the number of persons that have been displaced. 

It said 59,200 people have become destitute once again in the northeast in the last three months.

The UN migration agency warned in Geneva that Northeast Nigeria displacement crisis had continued due to “increased sophistication’’ of attackers.

The agency noted that the armed extremists, notably Boko Haram militants, had contributed to a decade-long humanitarian crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, that had spilled over into the Lake Chad region.

“Since November, we have seen 59,200 displaced,” IOM Nigeria’s Chief of Mission, Frantz Celestin said, noting that in the last two years, “we have not seen that many people on the move”.

The last two months of 2018 were also marked by “an increased sophistication’’ of non-State armed groups accompanied by “an increased number of attacks and success in taking towns,” Celestin explained.

He said the hit-and-run nature of the attack by the extremists on motorbikes had made it difficult to check their attacks.   

According to him, civilians continue to bear the brunt of con?icts  that have led to widespread forced displacement and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Since the start of the crisis, more than 27,000 people have been killed in the three north-eastern states, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), while thousands of women and girls have been abducted.

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“Government efforts to drive back the non-State armed groups that operate in the north-east of the vast country have been hindered by the Harmattan dust cloud, an annual phenomenon that sweeps across West Africa from approximately November to March.

“In the town of Rann, which was attacked in January, nobody was spare in one assault.

“The MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) clinic was burnt, the IOM hub was attacked, the UNICEF clinic was attacked, the WHO/ICRC’s compounds were attacked,” Celestin said.

He said amid ongoing insecurity, humanitarian access was limited, hampering the ability of aid agencies to assess needs comprehensively.

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled into already overcrowded camps, mainly in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, the IOM official added.

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