Borno State government said it will shut down Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps by the end of the year based on improvement in security in the state.
According to the Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, who cited improved security in the state, said those living in the camps can now return to their homes.
Zulum noted that security is so improved in the state that those living in the camps in the state capital Maiduguri can return home.
“So far so good. Borno State government has started well and arrangements have been concluded to ensure closure all internally displaced persons camps that are inside Maiduguri metropolis on or before December 31, 2021,” Zulum said.
Humanitarian groups, however, claim that families are unwilling to return to their ancestral lands, especially in the northern parts of Borno, which they deem unsafe.
For more than a decade, Borno – which shares borders with Niger, Cameroon, and Chad – has been the foremost outpost of an insurgency led by Islamist group Boko Haram, and later its offshoot Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The conflict between insurgents and Nigeria’s armed forces spread to Chad and Cameroon as well, leaving about 300,000 dead and millions dependent on aid, the United Nations recorded.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari claims his government is gaining ground on the insurgents, and the country’s Chief of Defense Staff General Lucky Irabor said the ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi is dead, Reuters mentioned.
Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Sheau died in May of this year, and Nigeria affirms that hundreds of Islamist fighters have been surrendering to the government since then.