By Adam Abu-bashal
ABUJA, Nigeria (AA) – Thousands of residents in northeastern Nigeria who took shelter in neighboring countries following attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist organization have returned to their homes, an official said Sunday.
Air Vice Marshall (retd) Lawal Alao, vice chairman of the Victims Support Fund (VSF), said in a statement that 5,704 people who fled Boko Haram attacks six years ago and took refuge in Cameroon and Niger returned to their hometown after the Nigerian army restored security in the Marte area of Borno state.
They were placed in government-built houses in the region, Alao said.
Boko Haram launched a bloody insurgency in northeastern Nigeria in 2009 before expanding to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
According to UN figures, violence committed by Boko Haram has affected 26 million people and displaced some three million in the Lake Chad region, while thousands of lives have also been lost to the insurgency.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz