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16-04-2021 | Edited News

UNOG Bi-weekly press briefing: North-East Nigeria Alert - UNHCR, OCHA

ENG

STORY: North-East Nigeria Alert – UNHCR, OCHA  

TRT: 02 min 25s 

SOURCE: UNTV CH 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS 

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 

DATELINE: 16 APRIL 2021 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST 

  

  1. Exterior wide shot, Palais des Nations flag alley, nations’ flags flying, a cloudy day. 
  2. Wide shot, podium with speakers in a near-empty Room XIV in line with COVID-19 distancing measures, Palais des Nations. 
  3. SOUNDBITE (English) — Babar Baloch, spokesperson for UNHCR (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees): “UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply concerned as up to 65,000 Nigerians are on the move following a series of attacks by armed groups on Damasak town, in northeast Nigeria’s restive Borno State. Initial reports indicate that eight people were killed, and a dozen injured.” 
  4. Medium shot, TV broadcasting in foreground and podium to rear, Room XIV, Palais des Nations. 
  5. SOUNDBITE (English) — Babar Baloch, spokesperson for UNHCR (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees): “Following the latest attack on Wednesday 14 April, the third in just seven days, up to 80 per cent of the town’s population —which includes the local community and internally displaced people as well— were forced to flee. Assailants looted and burned down private homes, warehouses of humanitarian agencies, a police station, a clinic and also a UNHCR facility.” 
  6. Medium shot, podium with speakers talking, Room XIV, Palais des Nations. 
  7. SOUNDBITE (English) — Jens Laerke, spokesperson for OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs): “OCHA also continues to receive very worrying reports of clashes between insurgent groups and the Nigerian Armed Forces in Damasak in Borno State, and that non-state armed groups are targeting humanitarian assets and facilities. And recently, also conducting house to house searches, reportedly looking for civilians identified as aid workers.” 
  8. Wide medium shot, podium with speakers to rear, Palais des Nations. 
  9. SOUNDBITE (English) — Jens Laerke, spokesperson for OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs): “The situation on the ground is extremely critical, if this continues it will be impossible, maybe for longer periods of time, for us to deliver aid to people who desperately need it.” 
  10. Medium close-up, Jens Laerke looking at his notes and journalist sitting behind, Room XIV, Palais des Nations 
  11. SOUNDBITE (English) — Babar Baloch, spokesperson for UNHCR (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees): “Violence in the Lake Chad region Basin has uprooted 3.3 million people and more than 300,000 are Nigerian refugees, more than 50 per cent of them are hosted in Niger and Diffa region where these refugees, where thousands of refugees are now arriving from Nigeria already hosts a quarter million refugees from Nigeria.” 
  12. Close-up, UN logo, Room XIV, Palais des Nations. 

 

STORYLINE 

Northeast Nigeria violence forces 65,000 to flee, humanitarians targeted

A spate of clashes involving Government security forces and insurgent groups in northeast Nigeria has caused mass displacement and threatened humanitarian assistance, as armed groups go “house-to-house” in the search for aid workers, the UN said on Friday.

“Up to 65,000 Nigerians are on the move following a series of attacks by armed groups on Damasak town, in northeast Nigeria’s restive Borno State,” UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Babar Baloch told journalists in Geneva. “Initial reports indicate that eight people were killed, and a dozen injured.”

Echoing those concerns, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported several incidents in the town since Sunday 11 April.

“Humanitarian assets have been targeted, including the destruction of at least five NGO offices and several NGO vehicles, a mobile storage unit, water tanks, a health outpost and a nutrition stabilization centre,” said OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke.

Non-state armed actors were also “conducting house-to-house searches, reportedly looking for civilians identified as aid workers”, he said.

This was despite the fact that aid operations and humanitarian facilities were a “lifeline for people in northeast Nigeria who depend on assistance to survive”.

According to OCHA, the attacks will affect support to nearly 9,000 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community who are receiving humanitarian assistance and protection.

In the latest reported attack on Wednesday 14 April - the third in seven days – UNHCR’s Mr Baloch explained that “up to 80 per cent of the town’s population —which includes the local community and internally displaced people as well – had been forced to flee.

Assailants looted and burned down private homes, warehouses of humanitarian agencies, a police station, a clinic and also a UNHCR facility. 

Describing the situation as “extremely critical”, OCHA’s Mr Laerke insisted that if the attacks continue, “it will be impossible, maybe for longer periods of time, for us to deliver aid to people who desperately need it” – his comments coming as UNHCR noted that its staff have relocated out of Damasak temporarily this week.

Civilians fleeing the violence include Nigerians and Niger nationals, Mr Baloch said, explaining they had made for Borno state’s capital city, Maiduguri and Geidam town in neighbouring Yobe State. Others crossed into Niger’s Diffa region.

Years of insecurity and insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast have created a massive humanitarian emergency in the Lake Chad basin.

To date, it has uprooted some 3.3 million people. “More than 300,000 are Nigerian refugees, more than 50 per cent of them are hosted in Niger and Diffa region - where these refugees, where thousands of refugees, are now arriving from Nigeria, already hosts a quarter (of a) million refugees from Nigeria,” Mr Baloch said.

ends


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UNOG Bi-weekly press briefing: North-East Nigeria Alert - UNHCR, OCHA / 2:26

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