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Libyan Newswire

Niger: Country Operation Update, June-July 2019


35,055 Number of Nigerians who have searched for refuge in Niger's Maradi Region and have been registered

2,982 Persons evacuated from Libya to safety in Niger

76,634 Internally displaced persons in Tillabery and Tahoua regions

Operational Context

Key situations include:

1. The Mali situation: has begun in 2012 with the outbreak of conflict in northern Mali. The Government of Niger and UNHCR seek to accelerate socio-economic integration of Malian refugees and settle them outside the camps in Tillaberi and Tahoua regions by the end of 2020. This is done thanks to the support of the EU Trust Fund GIZ. The regions of Tillaberi and Tahoua bordering Mali and hosting most of the 56,306 Malian refugees have been increasingly affected by insecurity and terrorism while thousands of new people continue to arrive, especially in Tahoua region.

Furthermore, the presence of armed groups in Burkina Faso, nearby the Nigerien border, have triggered cross-border displacement of an estimated number of 2190 persons. Armed incursions from Burkina Faso's armed groups into Niger have caused internal displacement of at least 1013 Nigeriens. This situation is set to continue over the next months.

2. The Nigeria situation: has begun in 2013, with the arrival of Nigerian refugees and Nigerien returnees who have been settled in Nigeria since decades in Diffa region. They have fled Boko Haram violence. The situation has become increasingly mixed following attacks on Niger territory since 2015. Today, there are almost 250,000 displaced persons in the region (including 118,868 refugees, 104,288 IDPs, and 25,731 returnees). The majority live in spontaneous sites or with the local population, while UNHCR manages one refugee camp, with over 15,000 people. In 2018, despite a complex security context, all actors agreed on the need to engage strongly in development oriented interventions. The Government of Niger, UNHCR and the World Bank are working closely in that direction. Additionally, with the support of EU, UNHCR and NGO partners foster economic recovery and long term solutions through urbanization and the construction of durable housing. However, since the beginning of 2019, the security situation has further deteriorated in the Diffa region, which has pushed thousands of displaced populations to move for another time.

Moreover, in Maradi region, a new situation has emerged. At least 35 055 persons coming from the Nigerian states of Sokoto and Zamfara have fled situations of extreme violence and looked for refuge across the border.

3. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): Today, Diffa region counts 104,000 IDPs and Tahoua and Tillaberi regions 76,634 IDPs. New movements have also been registered around the borders with Mali and Burkina Faso. Protection monitoring, advocacy, capacity building and coordinated efforts with humanitarian actors and the Government of Niger are ongoing to ensure an adequate response to the situation. In December 2018, the Government of Niger has adopted a national law for the assistance and protection of IDPs based on the Kampala Convention.

4. Mixed Movements: Niger is a major crossroads of migratory movements northwards towards Libya, Algeria and the Mediterranean. These migratory flows constitute mixed movements, including economic migrants as well as persons in need of international protection. Some 1600 asylum seekers are present in Agadez and residing in the humanitarian centre or in guesthouses in the city of Agadez. The Government, UNHCR, IOM and NGO partners identify asylum seekers within the migratory flows and provide these persons with information and assistance. The situation has become more complex, with the addition of mixed movements southwards coming from Libya and Algeria.

5. Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM): This unique programme aims to provide life-saving protection, assistance and long-term solutions to extremely vulnerable refugees trapped in detention in Libya, through temporary evacuation to Niger. The aim is to deliver protection and identify durable solutions, including resettlement for these refugees, who are predominantly Eritrean and Somalian. Their profiles mainly include survivors of torture or other forms of violence in the country of origin and/or transit countries (e.g. Libya) and others with compelling protection needs. Many of them are unaccompanied children and women and girls at risk. To date, 2,782 persons have been evacuated to Niger � 1,395 of whom are still in Niamey while the others have already been resettled. With the support of an EU Trust Fund, a new transit centre is being built near Niamey to host the evacuees while they await resettlement to third countries.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees