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Armed men killed 10 Benue IDPs

No fewer than 10 internally displaced persons have so far been killed in camps 1 and 2 located in Gbanjimba, headquarters of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

This was disclosed by the camp commandant, Felix Banke, on Wednesday when the team of the United States Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance visited the camp.

There are about 15 official IDP camps located across the state.

The acting Executive Secretary of the State Emergency and Management Agency, James Iorpuu, led the USBHA to six IDP camps in the state.

The six camps visited by the international organisation were Ichuwa, Bakkaa, Ukpaan, Otese, Daudu and Gbanjimba; all in Makurdi and Guma LGs.

While he paid a courtesy call to the state governor, Hyacinth Alia, on Tuesday, the Senior Humanitarian Advisor, USBHA, Patrick Robinson, stated that their presence in the state was to access the humanitarian situation and to see areas they could assist in resolving the crisis.

Addressing the team, the camp commandant said that herdsmen, last week, invaded and killed one person at IDP camp 1 in Gbanjimba.

He said, “So far, we have lost nine displaced persons in this camp 2, and just few days ago, one displaced person was killed in camp 1. The victim is yet to be buried.

“They were killed by armed herders who invaded the camps at different times.”

As of the time of the visit on Wednesday,  herdsmen were openly grazing behind camp 2 where the inmates said they now sleep with one of their eyes open due to fear of attack by herders

The camp commandant also told the visitors that in the event of death in the camp, camp leaders always meet with the district heads and other host community leaders that provided a parcel of land for the establishment of the camp.

Banke pointed out that the major challenge being faced in the camp is diarrhoea due to the lack of potable water supply to the camp.

In his remarks, the acting Executive Secretary of SEMA, Iorpuu, noted that the governor’s administration is working with the Federal Government and the international community to ensure their safety and quick return of the displaced people to their ancestral homes.

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