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Weekly security and climate change risk related news review and analysis

  1. Weekly Security and Climate change risk related news Review and analysis for May 13 – May 18 2019

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.).

Election losers sponsoring kidnappings, banditry – Buratai
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, says there is strong evidence that those defeated in the 2019 general elections are trying to revenge by sponsoring kidnappings and banditry. Buratai spoke in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital while receiving chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Army after laying wreath in honour of fallen heroes.

Zamfara banditry: Block telephone service for six months – Emirs beg FG
Zamfara Council of Chiefs has requested the Federal Government to set up a panel or commission of inquiry to establish those behind banditry in the state and punish them.
The Chairman of the council and Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, made the appeal on Monday when he received the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, at his palace.

Nigerian Army buries officer, two soldiers killed by terrorists in Borno
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday laid to rest, the remains of one officer and two soldiers killed by the Boko Haram group in Borno State. They were buried at the Maimalari Military Cantonment Cemetery, Maiduguri.

Gunmen kill 20 in Katsina villages
Gunmen Tuesday night killed 20 persons at three villages in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State. The affected villages–Dan Marke Z, Dan Sabau and Karya – share borders with Zamfara State.

12 bandits killed in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna – NAF
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says its Operation DIRAN MIKIYA Air Task Force (ATF) in collaboration with troops of the 271 Detachment have killed 12 bandits in Kamuku forest, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna.

According to NAF, the task force also facilitated the release of 15 kidnapped victims.

Be vigilant, Bagudu tells Kebbi residents
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State ask residents of the state to be vigilant about activities of bandits and report any suspicious characters in the communities to security agencies. He spoke at a meeting with the 21 local government chairmen in the state over the invasion of bandits in Illo area of Bagudo local government.

Boko Haram: Over 90,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon – Officials
Officials from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and those from Adamawa and Borno states on Monday said about 90,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon ”are safe’’ and will soon return.

Climate change pushes farmers to ‘tipping point’ in Lake Chad crisis
Climate change must be addressed to tackle conflict around Lake Chad, researchers said on Wednesday, as increasingly extreme weather has pushed poor farmers and fishermen to take up arms.
The region bordering Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon has been hit by a decade-long Islamist insurgency, uprooting 2.5 million people in one of the world’s most neglected crises.

Nigeria offers a terrifying vision of a future afflicted by climate change
For decades, the once fertile plains of central Nigeria sustained millions. In the country’s vast middle belt, more than 100 ethnic groups coexisted, mostly peacefully, farming, grazing their cattle and reaping the benefits of the west African nation’s agricultural bounty.

Facing the Challenge of the Islamic State in West Africa Province
Three years after Boko Haram broke apart, one faction, the Islamic State in West Africa Province, is forming a proto-state in northern Nigeria. The state should press its military offensive against the jihadists but also try undercutting their appeal by improving governance and public services.

Operation Puff Adder: Police arrest 93 suspected kidnappers, armed robbers
The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday said a total of 93 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers have been arrested in the past two weeks in joint operations in Kaduna, Niger and Katsina States.

Nigeria, Niger Joint Security Teams Meet On Cross Border Banditry
A Joint Security Team from 8 Division Nigerian Army (NA), comprising of representatives from the NA, Nigerian Police, State Security Services, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Custom Service and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps visited their counterparts in Niger Republic on Thursday.

Northern governors unveil N6 billion regional economic recovery
The Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) has created a joint financial institution worth six billion naira to serve as a vehicle for the region’s economic recovery and development. Governor Kassim Shettima of Borno State and out-going Chairman of the forum made this known while highlighting his achievements in the last four years on Friday in Kaduna.

ANALYSIS

▪May 15, Berlin-based think tank adelphi released a new report ‘Shoring Up Stability in the Lake Chad Region: Addressing Climate and Fragility Risks’.

The report highlights the complex link between climate change, increased competition for natural resources, heavy-handed military response, economic livelihoods and instability in the region, battling the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and Boko Haram, which began an insurgency in Nigeria in 2009 that has spread across the border into Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Lake chad region is home to 17.4 million people with an estimated 10.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
The report found the fresh water Lake chad was not actually shrinking. This finding is from analysis of 20 years of satellite imagery and long-term hydrological data from the Lake Chad basin, including ground measurements. It will likely change existing understanding of climate risk and climate response plans by Lake Chad basin commission states.

Summary: Climate related security risks are driven by climate volatility , exacerbated socio-economic and resource vulnerabilities not volume of the fresh water lake. Tackling the impacts of climate change is an important part of peace building efforts.

▪ The new crisis group report highlights the break up of Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād commonly known as Boko Haram and strategies adopted by Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) including filling gaps in governance and service delivery in lake chad; and a less hostile treatment of civilians than its parent organization, Bokoharam. This allows ISWAP to deepen its roots among the local population and turn neglected communities in the area and islands in Lake Chad into economic support resource for ISWAP.

The report highlights what Nigerian and other government authorities are doing to provide their own governance and services to encourage their forces to conduct counter-insurgency operations humanely and in a manner that protects civilians. It also makes suggestions for how they might improve their ops so as to deny ISWAP the competitive advantage that it seeks to further extremist support.

Summary: The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a splinter group of Boko Haram, is growing threat.
Nigeria and neighboring states should complement military action with improved governance and public services in the affected region.

▪Rural armed banditry, kidnapping and crime remains a major concern and threat in the North west of Nigeria. Ongoing military operations Sharan Daji and Diran Mikiya alongside law enforcement operation Puff Adder by the police has led to relative calm and security in some affected areas.

On 16th of May, the Nigerian police force displayed locally fabricated shotguns and rifles, variants of the Avtomat Kalashnikov Rifle (AK), shotguns and what appeared to be a Type 69 Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) Launcher, Chinese copy of the Soviet RPG-7 series recovered from arrested criminals.

Nigerian and Niger security forces are working to strengthen joint operations against security threats of cross-border armed banditry and other criminalities along the border between Niger Republic and Nigeria, which necessitated the establishment of a joint military border patrol in September 2018.

▪Northern Nigeria Governors Forum announcement of a strategic five year economic recovery and development plan, implementation of measures including criminal justice system review to stem the tide of security challenges in the region is an important path towards stability and peace. The forum also announced efforts to fight the menace of drug abuse in the northern Nigeria. They also called on the Nigerian federal government to re-strategize and come up with measures that could deal with the situation more permanently.

Summary : The Northern Governors strategic economic development plan is significant but change in leadership in some states may affect implementation and action phase. Implementation, funding and political will to work towards objective is critical for success and stability. Furthermore, Governors need to invest more in human capital development, as work to revamp industries in the region. Democratic and free Local government is important for local governance, development and security.

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