The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday that it was currently seeking the whereabouts of 17 ,000 Nigerians who were missing as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen-farmers ’ clashes in the country.
The ICRC stated this in its “ Facts and Figures Report : January to June 2018, ” noting that there were over 7, 100 children among the missing people .
The Red Cross said Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba states had witnessed an increase in communal violence since the beginning of the year, during which “civilians were injured , killed and thousands of families forced to flee their homes and now living in makeshift camps . ”
The ICRC said it was working with the Nigerian Red Cross Society and other Red Cross societies in the Lake Chad region to locate the missing family members and reunite the children with their parents or caretakers.
The report said, “In the North-East , where the armed conflict is now in its ninth year, violence continues to claim civilian lives and destroy property.
Hundreds of thousands of the displaced persons still live in overcrowded camps in the regional centres and depend almost entirely on humanitarian assistance .
“ The ICRC and NRCS are currently seeking to clarify the fate and whereabouts of about 17 , 000 missing persons in Nigeria , including over 7 ,100 missing children . In numbers; over 1 ,960 fresh tracing requests were opened by persons looking for relatives with the Red Cross. Also , almost 300 Red Cross messages containing family news were exchanged between separated family members .
“ Over 770 free phone calls were made available by the Red Cross to persons searching for missing family members . Since the beginning of the year, the states of Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba have witnessed an increase in communal violence . Civilians have been injured and killed and thousands of families have been forced to flee their homes .
In predominantly agrarian communities, the violence has also disrupted their ability to farm and earn a living.
“ The herders have lost many of their livestock to violence or lack of animal health care , leaving many to depend on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs from food and water to shelter and medical care .”