UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- At least 10,000 refugees reportedly returned to homes in northeast Nigeria, despite reports of fighting in the region, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.
"The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that at least 10,000 people reportedly returned (Wednesday) to Nigeria's northeastern town of Rann from Cameroon," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"These civilians were among more than 40,000 Nigerian women, men and children who originally fled Rann following the deadly attacks by non-state armed groups in December 2018," Dujarric said.
"Reports indicate that hundreds more people are en route to Rann from Cameroon, which is 8 km away by foot," he said. "All of these people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food and safe drinking water."
The spokesman told reporters at a regular briefing that international and national humanitarian organizations have not been able to return to Rann to provide the needed humanitarian assistance due to "ongoing insecurity" since mid-January.
The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said attacks on Nigerian security posts by Boko Haram triggered the flow of refugees into Cameroon in December.