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Displaced families swarm Benue camps

19 July 2013, 09:05Augustine Osayande

Abuja – The camps set up by the Benue State Government to shelter internally displaced refugees is overwhelmed by more arrivals as people in the state flee continuous outbreaks of violence.

The executive secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Adikpo Agbatse, confirmed the development, linking to recent incessant attacks by unknown gunmen.

Reports suggest more than 10 000 internally displaced people, mostly women and children, are now housed in such shelters.

"The three displaced people’s camps in Guma Local Government Area of the state are swelling on a daily basis because more people are fleeing their places for fear of attacks by unknown gunmen," he said.

Most of the affected communities have witnessed repeated attacks by unknown gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

Violent clashes between farmers and cattle rearers over land are commonplace in Benue State.

In recent weeks, more than 120 people have been killed in the violence thought to be perpetrated by the herdsmen.

Agbatse meanwhile dismissed reports that the state government had abandoned the people living in the camps.

He said some of the people in the camps have refused to return their villages despite assurances of security.

EMA has observed that the continued influx of more persons to the camps require more facilities and support from government and other stakeholders.

- CAJ News


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