MSF: Thousands fleeing Rann in need of assistance in Bodo, Cameroon

Several thousand people have fled Rann in northeast Nigeria following a violent attack on the town on Monday, January 14th. Yesterday, they started arriving by foot in Bodo, Cameroon, some seven kilometres from Rann. 

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started providing assistance in Bodo yesterday. A team consisting of medical and logistical staff have been distributing food and water, and are providing emergency medical care. 

Hugues Robert, MSF Programme Manager for Nigeria said: “Our team in Bodo estimates that some 8000 people arrived yesterday and we expect several thousand more may come today. We are preparing to assist 15,000 people with food, water and medical care over the coming days. Many were in a state of shock and were clearly distressed by what they had witnessed. Now they have lost all that they have and need absolutely everything.”

Near Bodo, people have spent one night outdoors as there are no shelters. There are children and many breastfeeding and pregnant women among them.

In Rann, many parts of the town were burnt, including houses and shelters. Market and food stores were also destroyed.  The MSF warehouse, office and pharmacy were looted and burnt to the ground.

An MSF team who assessed medical needs in Rann after the attack were able to evacuate one injured man on site, and were told that most had fled to nearby Cameroon.

“This is truly devastating for the people in Rann,” says Robert, “They suffer endless violence, and now they have to get back on their feet once more. How many more times is this possible? The people of Borno continue to pay the price for this merciless conflict. All the warring parties must respect the safety of civilians.”   

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