Re posted from Presstv.com
1,100 schools destroyed by Boko Haram militants this year: UN
The United Nations (UN) says some 1,100 schools have been destroyed by Boko Haram militants so far this year in regions surrounding Lake Chad in Africa.
Toby Lanzer, the UN envoy to Sahel region in Africa, said on Monday that the attacked schools were in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
Boko Haram, which controls parts of northeastern Nigeria, started its militancy against the African state government in 2009. The militancy has now become a regional issue, having spilled over into Nigeria’s neighboring countries. More than 17,000 people have so far been killed in the insurgency.
The militant group, whose name means “Western education is forbidden”, is blamed for attacking schools and universities in the region.
Lanzer also said Boko Haram attacks have forced 2.6 million people, including 2.2 million Nigerians, to flee their homes in the militant group’s stronghold region around Lake Chad that touches the four African countries.
He further noted that the militancy, poverty and a rise in population in areas surrounding Lake Chad could lead refugees displaced by Boko Haram militants towards Europe, which is already struggling with an influx of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekeres fleeing conflicts in crisis-hit regions in the Middle East and North Africa.
Lanzer also praised Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s response to Boko Haram militants. Buhari instructed Nigeria’s military to crush the group by the end of this year.
In September, Amnesty International said in a statement that at least 1,600 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks in the four affected countries since the start of June. The rights group also said at least 3,500 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram so far this year.
Reports indicate that 1,260 people have been killed in Boko Haram violence in Nigeria alone since late May, with the majority of attacks happening in Borno State’s places of worship, markets and bus stations.