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ICC Note: Despite continued claims by the Nigerian Government that Boko Haram has been defeated, many people in Borno State are still living in fear and displacement.

08/24/2018 Nigeria (Brinkwire) – For Fadi Ali, these last three years have been a terrifying game of cat and mouse with Boko Haram jihadists in northeast Nigeria.

“They slaughtered my husband, my grandmother and two of my children,” says the 35-year-old mother from Ngoshe.

Ali finally came across an army convoy and was taken to Pulka, a camp in the country’s remote northeast region.

Beside her, Baba Ali, also a native of Ngoshe, says that many people are still trapped in the Mandara Mountains where they survive on roots and leaves, living in fear of the jihadists who have established bases in the caves outside of the military’s reach.

As the presidential race heats up ahead of February polls, the Nigerian government and officials of Borno state, the epicentre of the Islamist insurgency, are encouraging and facilitating the “return” of tens of thousands of people.

As he campaigns for a second term in office, President Muhammadu Buhari is working to show that he has delivered on his pledge to defeat the Islamists, saying recently that the ravaged northeast region is now in a “post-conflict stabilisation phase.”

But the reality is that people are being sent back to camps across Borno state while Boko Haram is still launching devastating attacks against military and civilian targets.

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For interviews with Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]