Humanitarian crisis after Boko Haram attack

Maiduguri - Hundreds of people who escaped a Boko Haram attack need urgent help, a local lawmaker said on Wednesday, as those still hiding on a mountain a week later said food and water supplies had run out.

Islamist militants attacked Gwoza in Borno state, northeast Nigeria, last Wednesday, leaving dozens of people dead and sending others fleeing for their lives, some to hills near the border with Cameroon.

The government said on Tuesday that operations were "ongoing", with indications the military had been unable to wrest back control of the town, 135km from the state capital Maiduguri.

But Senator Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South in Nigeria's National Assembly, warned of a humanitarian emergency.

"Honestly, our people need help. The only people that are living in Gwoza are those that are either too old to walk or too young to flee.

"They have no water to drink because the boreholes are no longer functioning. They also have no food to eat. There are over 50 000 people in Gwoza and more than 270 000 in the local government area but all of them are devastated," he said.

"Something urgent needs to be done."

Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said 10 000 people had been displaced because of the attack and they were providing assistance to those who had escaped to Maiduguri or Madagali, in neighbouring Adamawa state.

NEMA spokesperson Manzo Ezekiel told AFP that teams had so far been unable to reach Gwoza or the mountain because of the fighting.

Mandara mountain

Gwoza residents described how it took them four days to get to Maiduguri, leaving behind destroyed houses and dozens of decomposing bodies on the streets.

One man who fled to the Mandara mountain told reporters by phone: "Most of us, mostly men are here and for nearly eight days, we have no food, no water to drink and no shelter.

"The few women among us are falling sick but we only eat wild fruits and we are being beaten by rain," he said.

Another said he hoped help would reach them soon but added: "Our biggest fear is that the insurgents may trail us. Among us are some soldiers that ran out of ammunition."

Pushing back Boko Haram from Gwoza has been hindered by a series of protests by military wives, who burned tyres and blocked roads outside a Maiduguri barracks to prevent their husbands leaving for Gwoza.

The women allege that the soldiers were ill-equipped to fight the insurgents. The government has dismissed the claim.

Tshepo Edmunds 2014/08/13 05:27:22 PM
Where are the 30 000+ marchers
Paul Gevers 2014/08/13 05:32:02 PM
Bokdrol haram
Anthoula Joshua 2014/08/13 05:48:30 PM
God please!!! Someone help these people. SA army, USA, UK, France help them. Take Boko Haram and ISIS out now!!! It is out of control and people are suffering. Don't critisise Israel, because Hamas will do the same. Christians and Muslims in Palestine also live in fear of Hamas. We will keep praying for peace. However I don't think you can talk to terrorists. They only understand violence and therefore need to meet their match with trained armies. The Legion would finish them off in no time.
Anthoula Joshua 2014/08/13 05:53:36 PM
Amazing!!! No marches or outcry for this or Iraq Christians. Where are you now??? Especially you Desmond Tutu. Is it because most of the people suffering here are black and or Christian? Are their lives less important to you than Palestinian lives?
Chrysanthe Kruser 2014/08/13 06:08:16 PM
And all Gods people chased up into the mountains. Stand firm Israel. Things are certainly coming to pass.
Lefu Jacob 2014/08/13 06:33:23 PM
what hell is going on with president Jonathan, i'm starting to suspect this guy.
Bnet Jonas 2014/08/13 06:35:15 PM
Please donate at your churches to help our brothers escape from the Islamic murderers. The government must be in cahoots with Boko Haram. To our local Muslim brothers please make sure that our donations no longer support these terror groups
Azana Booi 2014/08/13 06:56:09 PM
The Media is making big huha about this boko haram.. nigerian Gov dont give a shytte!!!
Gia Concetta 2014/08/13 07:23:20 PM
Wipe out these terrorists and let Allah deal with them.
Binte Maya 2014/08/13 08:16:34 PM
Many of You always ask the question.. where are we...? When we do decide to comment and condem the violence of these extremely violent groups.. we get hurtful and hateful replies and are told how bad we are and our religion.. when we choose to rather not comment.. we are told we don't care n are hypocrites.. i guess we can never please all of you hey.anyway we wish for peace for all those suffering..