Weekly security and climate change risk related news review and analysis/May 2019 SITREP

  • 4th week |May 2019 SITREP

During the period under review, the following security and climate change risk, related news and events were reported and analyzed by Goro Initiative (G.I.).

Northwest Nigeria violence drives 20,000 into Niger: UNHCR
Violence in northwest Nigeria has forced around 20,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Niger since April, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday.

Bandits kill 23 in Zamfara in retaliation for murder of informant
Police in Zamfara on Tuesday confirmed the killing of 23 persons in Tunga and Kabaje villages, Kaura-Namoda Local Government Area by suspected bandits in the early hours of the day.

Zamfara: Airforce hits bandits hard in Doumbourou forest
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI destroyed bandits’ camp and neutralised dozens of bandits in air strikes conducted at Doumbourou forest in Zamfara.

Police launches sectoral community policing, arrest 43 suspects in Bauchi
The Nigeria Police Force, Bauchi State Command said it has launched a new strategy it called “Sectoral Community Policing” to improve security in the State.

Sokoto mobilizes herdsmen, farmers against banditry
As part of moves to tackle banditry, the Sokoto State government is mobilizing various groups to participate in joint volunteers’ vigilante groups to complement its efforts in tackling banditry and other crimes.

Police parade 23 suspected bandits, kidnapper in Sokoto
The Sokoto state police command on Monday paraded no fewer than 23 suspected criminals arrested for banditry and other offences including a notorious kidnapper, Mohammed Dangaladima a.k.a. ” Bajini”.

Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) Recovers 186 Weapons, 3,569 Ammunition In Three States.
Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), the military spike operation in Benue State said it recovered about 186 assorted weapons during its operations across three states of the country in the last year.
The states are Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba, where OPWS said it also arrested 171 militia and killed another forty in the year under review

People Killed, Houses Torched as Violence Erupts in Jos
An unspecified number of persons have been killed, with many others injured, and several houses torched as fresh violence erupts in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

Nigeria: ‘Boko Haram’ convoy ambush between Sabon Gari and Damboa kills at least 20
At least 20 people were killed and others are missing after militants ambushed a convoy transporting civilians from Sabon Gari to displacement camps in Damboa in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, according to reports.

Boko Haram attacks villagers near Maiduguri
Boko Haram attacked some communities near Maiduguri, killing no fewer than six people.
The insurgents invaded Bulama Isa, Dala Wulari and Abbajiri at the back of Bakassi internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

How Nigeria and its president are being held to ransom
The pomp and ceremony of Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration will not mask the huge challenges the 76-year-old Nigerian president faces during his second term in office – in particular the booming business of kidnapping for ransom.

NGOs providing logistics support to Boko Haram terrorists, Army claims
The Nigerian Army has again accused some Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the North East of breaching security and sabotaging ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the zone.


Rural armed banditry and violence in North west.

I.  Rural armed banditry, kidnapping for ransom and violence remains major threat to livelihoods and well being of rural communities in North west Nigeria. Food security and deteriorating livelihoods are growing concern as farmers are unable to visit their farms in affected communities to plant crops for household use and sells in community markets for income require to meet other need due these security threats and forced displacement.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees(UNHCR) says the violence in northwest Nigeria has forced around 20,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Niger republic since April.

Nigerian police operation Puff Adder led to the rescue of victims, interception of small arms and arrest of suspected kidnappers in some of the affected States. While Troops of Nigerian Army operations Sharan Daji and Harbin Kunama III conducted raids targeting camps used by bandits and in an effort to deny bandits mobility and freedom of movement, motorcycles were banned in forests areas and hinterlands within the area of operation in the following states; kano, Katsina,Kaduna.. Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger.

Nigerian airforce, Air task force(ATF) assign to support ground troops, and conduct air missions against bandits, within the period under review conducted airstrike targeting bandits harbor camp in Doumbourou Forest Zamfara. Following human intelligence report and confirmation by Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR platform .

The insecurity in rural Northwest Nigeria is complex with multiple underlying factors, mutually reinforcing each other. These factors include cattle rustling, criminality, lost of livelihoods, underdevelopment, porous border, arms proliferation and ungoverned spaces. Vigilantism, revenge killing and severe hostilities between some Hausa and the Fulani communities.

Tackling this violence would require aggressive multi-sectorial intervention to maintain law and order, revamp rural economy and provide development for the local population.

Vigilante groups and community policing .

II. Vigilantism  and organized armed self-defense groups are stepping in to fill law enforcement gaps.

Vigilante groups are established to protect their communities from attackers, and  assist security forces. However they are also accused of exacerbating violence through bias criminal profiling, excessive use of force and mop justice.

As the Country moves towards community policing to improve internal security. Neighborhood groups could serve as critical source of intelligence to prevent and respond to crimes. It is therefore important for government to properly define the role of vigilante groups, document and supervise all groups and members. Provide regular training, laws, and guidelines, the use of weapons or firearms even if such arms are locally made and  trial of arrested suspects should not be permitted.

Arms proliferations and security related incidents in North central.

III.  Defence HQ, operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), announced the arrest militiamen recovery of about 186 weapons and 3,569 Ammunition during its operations across three states (Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba) of the country in the last year. OPWS was established following incidents of violence in the designated area of operation involving militias and cattle rustlers.

Weapons recovered by police from bandits in Kaduna

In Jos Plateau Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OpSH) intervened to prevent further violence on Sunday. The ethno-religious violence was triggered by the discovery of a beheaded corpse and reprisals by some irate youths. The OPSH also announced the arrest of suspected gunrunners following tip-off from the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Lights arms proliferation in Nigeria is contributing to Conflicts & Violent crimes. Proliferation is enabled by local fabrication of firearms, weak border security and porous borders which allows for smuggling of weapons from other parts of conflict ridden sahel. According to UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament (UNREC) says an estimated “350 million small arms and light weapons are circulating in Nigeria-accounting for 70% of the 500m or so weapons in West Africa”- UNREC

Nigeria is designated as a country of origin, transit and destination of small arms and light weapons.

Bokoharam threat in North east .

IV The Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād commonly known as Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa are the known non state actors in the lake chad region. Within the period in review civilians and military position in some communities in Borno Northeast Nigeria were attacked by fighters. Recent report by Crisis group highlights Islamic State in West Africa Province threat while Berlin based Adelphi report Shoring Up Stability in the Lake Chad Region: Addressing Climate and Fragility Risks in the Lake Chad region, highlights the vulnerability of local population and fragility of the region.

The Nigerian Army during the period under review accused some Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the North East of breaching security and sabotaging ongoing counter-terrorism operations. Similarly in December 2018, the army suspended the operations of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund UNICEF in the North-East theatre but the decision was reverse hours later.

Both the Military and Humanitarian agencies play vital role in the region, as such there is need for better communication & coordination.

Previous Reports in May.


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