VIOLENCE FORCES 11,000 TO FLEE TO MALI
Around 11,000 Burkinabe have fled armed attacks and insecurity to neighbouring Mali, UNHCR reported on 12 March, voicing worries on the impact of the persistent hostilities in the country.
Of those who have fled to Mali, 8,500 have settled in Gossi (Timbuktu Region) and N’Tillit (Gao Region) which are themselves affected by insecurity. A surge in armed attacks have sparked huge population displacement and an unprecedented humanitarian emergency in Burkina Faso.
MEASLES OUTBREAK PERSISTS
Cases of measles have been on the rise and spreading to new areas since the start of the year, WHO reported on 18 March. In the week ending on 10 March, 924 suspected cases were reported, a slight drop from the previous week.
Seven new districts have reached suspected measles epidemic level. Since the start of the year up to 15 March, 5,810 cases and 28 deaths have been reported.
WHO stressed the need to step up the response, especially immunization as well as more resources to quickly contain the outbreak. About 60 per cent of the cases are in children below five years.
STATE OF EMERGENCY EXTENDED IN THREE REGIONS
The Government on 15 March extended by three months the state of emergency imposed in the south-eastern Diffa and the western Tahoa and Tillaberi regions frequently hit by armed attacks and affected by insecurity. The three regions host around 250,000 displaced people who require humanitarian assistance.
The state of emergency in Diffa has been in place since 2015 following an escalation of armed raids.
IED EXPLOSION KILLS TWO CHILDREN
An IED explosion killed two children on 13 March outside their school in Gamboru locality in the north-eastern Borno state. One of them reportedly picked up the device and struck it against a metal object when it exploded.
Two other pupils injured in the blast are being treated. Thousands of civilians have returned to localities previously occupied by armed groups and which are contaminated by unexploded IEDs, UXOs and mines. The Nigerian military has called for international assistance to clear the ordnances.
FOUR KILLED IN FIRE OUTBREAK
Four people were killed on 14 March in a fire outbreak in Gajiram village in Borno state. The fire also destroyed property in a nearby camp for the displaced, affecting more than 2,000 displaced families. Humanitarian organizations are assisting the affected families and plan to construct 250 emergency shelters. In February, three people were killed in a fire accident in Monguno area and left 8,000 others homeless.
Overcrowding in camps has increased the risks of fire outbreaks. Fire safety awareness is being ramped up across displacement camps to avert further outbreaks.