Nigeria to Return People Displaced by Boko Haram Attacks in 2016

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said more than two million people displaced by an Islamist insurgency in the northeast will be returned home next year, despite continuing violence in the region.

Nigerians who have fled attacks will return to their homes to “meet destroyed schools and other infrastructure, which will have to be rebuilt,” Garba Shehu, a spokesman for Buhari, said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday after the president met with David Miliband, the head of International Rescue Committee and a former U.K. foreign secretary.

“With agriculture being moribund in the region in the last two years without cropping, hunger is already manifest,” Buhari said according to the statement. “We will welcome all the help we can get to assist the returnees.”

Militant group Boko Haram has razed villages, schools and hospitals and killed thousands of people in the northeast during a six year campaign to impose its version of Islamic law in Africa’s most populous nation.

Authorities in the region have struggled to convince those living in camps to return home amid continuing violence and suicide attacks.

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