The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has expressed support for measures aimed at alleviating the suffering of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Nigeria’s restive northeast state of Borno.
Speaking with stakeholders on Tuesday in Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno and the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency, the UN Secretary-General expressed concern for the plight of those affected by the decade-long insurgency and urged the international community to assist Borno State in meeting the humanitarian needs in northeast Nigeria.
Guterres, who had previously visited Senegal and Niger as part of his “Ramadan solidarity visit” to Africa, arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday and visited IDP camps and repentant Boko Haram militants’ transit areas in Borno.
He said if the support was given, Boko Haram would disappear even though they were weakened as support from the international community will help the Borno state government by giving hope for development and trust, where the people feel that their future can be trusted.
Babagana Zulum, the governor of Borno state, on Tuesday briefed the UN chief on the situation in Borno, lauding the UN for its support to the state and urging for more.
Zulum said many of the displaced persons had stayed for several years in camps and were eager to return to their recovered homes, but the destroyed structures had yet to be reconstructed.
He urged for more UN support for the ongoing rehabilitation, reconstruction, and resettlement of the IDPs.
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin, where the group has posed enormous security, humanitarian, and governance challenges.