|Jan. 23, 2019 -- An upsurge in violence in northeastern Nigeria has displaced thousands more of people recently, bringing the number of people fleeing homes since November to 80,000, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.
"Our humanitarian colleagues report that since November an upsurge in clashes between non-state armed groups and the military in northeast Nigeria, mainly in Borno state, have led to the displacement of 80,000 people, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN chief.
"This is in addition to the 1.8 million people already displaced in the northeast," he added during a regular briefing.
The world organization and humanitarian agencies are also concerned about the potential implications of increased violence and insecurity around the presidential election on Feb. 16, including potential population movements and limited humanitarian operations in some locations, Haq said.
He said the United Nations is urging all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and civilian assets and uphold international law.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported that the recent increase in violence in northeastern Nigeria forced an estimated 6,000 people, most of them women and children, to seek safety in Chad's Lake Chad region, Haq told reporters.
"UNHCR together with the Chadian authorities is carrying out registration and pre-screening of new arrivals to evaluate them for assistance," he said.
The refugee agency said many of the refugees paddled across Lake Chad to arrive in the Chadian village of Ngouboua, 20 km from the Nigerian border. The crossing takes about three hours.
The government of Chad has requested refugees stay 20 km from the Nigerian border for security reasons.