Fighting breaks out at Abuja IDP camp

FILE PHOTO: A cross-section of internally displaced persons
FILE PHOTO: A cross-section of internally displaced persons

Fighting broke out Saturday at the Internally Displaced Persons camp in Kuchigoro, near games village in Abuja over the distribution of relief items.

The camp holds hundreds of people displaced from north east states affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Residents of the camp clashed over items donated by a nongovernmental organisation, a witness said.

It was unclear if anyone was injured.

A PREMIUM TIMES correspondent at the scene said representatives of the donor group arrived the camp under police protection to distribute rice, blanket, milk, salt, mattresses, tomatoes, and other items, but had to abandon the materials midway and flee after fighting started.

“The items would have gone round if they were orderly,” he said. “There were in several thousands.”

He said the team arrived the camp at about 10a.m., but spent hours trying to put the people in order for the distribution to start.

The women finally received some of the items in the afternoon.

Men, who were next on line, suddenly overpowered the police and took over everywhere as fighting started.

Our correspondent said it was easy to overpower the security personnel because most of the policemen had left presumably for another assignment, after collecting some of the items meant for the displaced people.

“One thing is clear there: the lack of security in that place. How can displaced people be kept in a camp like that in Abuja without security?”

At the time of this report, the camp remained in commotion as people ran for their lives.

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