“Since November we’ve seen 59,200 [displaced],” IOM Nigeria’s Chief of Mission, Frantz Celestin, said in Geneva, 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”, Mr. Celestin explained.

It's no longer the gang of rifle wielding killers seeking an end to western education in Nigeria that attack defenseless youth, women and children in north east nigeria.

It's now more of organised crime with the attackers bearing more sophisticated weapons and their mode of operation seemingly as coordinated as the military.

It's been 10 years since Boko Haram first appeared on Nigeria's soil demanding parts of the country's territory and an end to western education.

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Civilians continue to bear the brunt of con?ict that has 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 BAY states, according to UN humanitarian coordinating office, OCHA, and thousands of women and girls have been abducted.

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 twice last month, “nobody was spared” in one assault, Mr. Celestin said.

“The MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) clinic was burned down, (the) IOM hub was attacked, the UNICEF clinic was attacked, the WHO/ICRC’s compounds were attacked,” he added.

“One of our biggest issues in north-east Nigeria in addition to the security issues is the land, access to land,” Mr. Celestin said. “We have a number of camps that are overcrowded, in fact, if we were to take all of the camps together, we would have more than 249,000 people in camps that are completely congested, with Monguno (Borno) being the largest one of them.”

In 2018, according to the UN humanitarian wing, OCHA, 7.7 million people in Nigeria were in need of humanitarian assistance, and 1.7 million people were classified as “food insecure” between October and December.

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