Borno IDPs protest non-availability of foodstuff
Thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), last Friday, protested the “non-availability and delay” of foodstuff to Banki Camp in Bama Local Government Area of Borno state.
CARE International Acting Safety Security Manager, Lassina Traore, who disclosed this, yesterday, in Maiduguri, said the rampaging IDPs pelted some humanitarian workers and pulled down a UN office.
Banki is a border town with Cameroon, and 138 kilometres east of Maiduguri, the state capital.
Traore said: “The protest was due to the delay and incomplete ration of expected food items for October. During the food distribution, cooking oil was not included. This triggered the massive protest in the camp. But this incident has no direct implications on CARE International activities.”
He said government forces deployed to the camp stopped the demonstration and arrested some IDPs.
According to him, the food items were returned to the warehouse to prevent looting.
He said unconfirmed reports indicated that the demonstrators threw stones that might have injured some humanitarian staff.
He explained that food distribution was normally done during the first two weeks of every month in Banki town, which accommodates people sacked by the decade-long insurgency.
He, however, said that in October, Donor/INGO had a delay and by October 20, food distribution had not been done.
He said the IDPs were left hungry for about 10 days ago.
“The INGO called a meeting with the community leaders, telling them that there will be no cooking oil as part of their food rations in October. The leaders accepted this, saying that at least they will get some food after many days of hunger. Today (Friday), when the food distribution was about to start, they were bottles of cooking oil seen by locals among the items for distribution unloaded from the trucks.
“INGO members of staff were even taking pictures of the items to be distributed, including cooking oil, among others. After that, locals said that the cooking oil was returned and they were informed that the cooking oil was not for distribution. The locals then demanded to be given cooking oil, as it was part of the items available. This led to a disagreement between the locals and the food distribution team.”