Boko Haram terrorism has claimed 350,000 lives in Nigeria, UN reports

Another decade of conflict could increase the death toll to more than 1.1 million.

Children are the most affected by Boko Haram's insurgency in the north east region [UNDP]

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says Boko Haram's insurgency in Nigeria's north east region has led to the loss of nearly 350,000 lives.

The Islamic sect has terrorised the region since 2009 and displaced millions of people from their communities, with their activities spreading to communities in neighbouring countries.

The death toll directly linked to the group's violence has been estimated to be around 35,000, but UNDP said in a report, published on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, that the total death toll is 10 times higher.

For each death due to violent conflict, nearly nine more have been due to lack of food and resources.

"We estimate that through the end of 2020, the conflict will have resulted in nearly 350,000 deaths, with 314,000 of those from indirect causes," the report noted.

A significant amount of the casualties were recorded in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, with children younger than five years old being the hardest hit.

During a rare recent visit to Borno State, President Muhammadu Buhari admitted that the anti-terror war is not over, years after he claimed Boko Haram was 'technically defeated'.

"The least I can do for you is to continue the relentless effort to fully restore peace to this state, the North East region and the country as a whole," he promised.

The UNDP report noted that the setback in human development will require decades to recover from.

Another decade of conflict could increase the death toll to more than 1.1 million.

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