Thousands of people who fled insurgency have been persuaded to return despite ongoing attacks and a lack of reconstruction

When Boko Haram realised that they were about to be routed from Bama, a town in north-east Nigeria that they had occupied for six months, they set about destroying it.

They torched the houses they had been staying in, the cars left on the street and belongings treasured by their owners, who had suddenly had to flee three years before. They even set fire to the beautiful neem tree that had cast a deep shade over Goni Ibrahim’s compound, protecting its 85 inhabitants from the brain-scrambling heat.

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Read More Nigerians forced out by Boko Haram return to ruins and continuing risk

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