Uganda is the largest host country of refugees in Africa and the third largest in the world, after welcoming an average of 2 000 displaced men, women and children every day for the past 11 months.
The new statistics, released on Monday by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, come less than a week before Uganda’s Solidarity Summit on Refugees – a conference aimed to mobilise international support for those affected by the South Sudanese Civil War.
The Nigerian Defense Ministry official described how the authorities had built ditches around schools and installed security lighting and set up roadblocks to keep Boko Haram fighters from invading schools and carrying off students and teachers. She explained how the government has moved thousands of students in the most heavily-affected areas to safer areas to allow them to finish their studies free from fear and attack.
Fatimatu was dead. Mohamed Conte, a member of the Red Cross Ebola burial team, had lowered her corpse into the ground. But when he returned to the van to take off his protective clothing, she stood defiantly in front of him, an apparition.
“‘Isn’t that Fatimatu?’ I shouted to my colleagues. But they couldn’t see her,” Conte said.
The psychological effect of Ebola on aid workers, coupled with community stigmatisation, has left many of them to suffer alone, with some being driven to self-harm and alcoholism.
Aid agencies say the number of unaccompanied minors among refugees arriving in Rwanda is uncharacteristically high.
Jean-Pierre (not his real name), whose feet swing above the ground as he sits on a plastic chair, looks more like a child in his Lego T-shirt than a teenager. Two months ago, the 15-year-old left his parents and four siblings in the province of Muyinga, in northern Burundi, and walked alone to neighbouring Rwanda.
A refugee camp in Chad has provided temporary sanctuary for thousands of fleeing Nigerians.
“I saw Boko Haram with my own eyes and I saw the bodies. If I think about the corpses, I will cry.”
These are the words of 12-year-old Tahiru Abakhar whose family was attacked by Boko Haram in Baga and again hounded by the Islamist group in other towns until they fled to neighbouring Chad.