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CrisisWatch Nigeria

Unchanged Situation

Serious security challenges persisted including Boko Haram (BH) insurgency in north east, bandit violence in north west, and herder-farmer tensions in north central, which altogether killed over 200. In north east, army 10 May reported it killed at least seven BH militants in Gulwa area, Borno state; air force reported strikes killed scores of insurgents. BH continued attacks on civilians, killing at least 31 mainly in Borno state but also Adamawa 7-27 May. Insurgents, mostly from BH faction Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), also continued to target military: notably militants killed fifteen soldiers at base in Magumeri area, Borno state 3 May; Islamic State (ISIS) 11 May said ISWAP killed eleven soldiers in Gajiganna, Borno state 10 May, army denied. ISWAP 20 May attacked base in Gubio, killing at least three soldiers; ISIS 22 May said twenty soldiers killed. In north west, security forces stepped up ground and air operations against bandits, including air strikes on Kamuku forest, Kaduna state 10 May and Doumbourou forest, Zamfara state 25 May, killing scores. But bandits continued attacks in Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto states, killing over 130 people. Notably, in Zamfara state, attacks left over 50 killed in several villages 3-4 May; at least eighteen killed in three places 18-19 May; at least 23 killed in Tunga and Kabaje 28 May. In Katsina state, bandits killed at least 34 people 20-21 May. In Sokoto state, bandits 3 May raided home of former state governor in Bafarawa, killed security guard; 7 May killed district head in Balle. In north centre, herder-farmer clashes and communal violence killed over 30 people in Kogi, Plateau and Kaduna states. In Kogi state, clashes in several areas 18-19 May left fifteen herders dead. In Plateau state, communal clash in state capital Jos 26 May killed seven. In Kaduna state, gunmen kidnapped seventeen including pastor at Dankade 19 May.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

28 May 2019
Massive unemployment [in Nigeria] has created a growing army of unemployed youth, vulnerable to recruitment in the criminal industry. BBC

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
12 Feb 2019
Stakes are high for Nigeria and the region. A vote marred in controversy and violence inevitably would hinder efforts to address the country’s security and economic challenges. African Arguments

Robert Malley

President & CEO
14 Jan 2019
While ending the insurgency and countering the militants’ appeal is obviously vital, it is also essential to recognise what precisely has guided women to join [Boko Haram] in the first place. The Guardian

Azadeh Moaveni

Senior Analyst, Gender
3 Oct 2018
The fact that some of the recent attacks [in Nigeria] specifically targeted military bases shows they were deliberate, not opportunistic. Bloomberg

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
24 Jul 2018
Jihadist groups present since the 2012 crisis in Mali exploited local unrest and the weak presence of the state in northern Mali to launch cross-border attacks against the Nigerien army... Despite direct support from Chadian troops since 2015 and closer collaboration with the Nigerian army, Nigerien forces have been unable to fully secure the border with Nigeria from attacks, including some linked to the Islamic State. Voice of America

Hannah Armstrong

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
25 Jun 2018
More people to feed means more agricultural settlement and less available land and water for herders. All of this tend to trigger more and more disputes [between farmers and semi-nomadic herders in Nigeria]. Reuters

Rinaldo Depagne

Senior Adviser Africa & Project Director West Africa

Latest Updates

Op-Ed / Africa

What Would Make A Woman Go Back To Boko Haram? Despair

In northeastern Nigeria, the militant group exploits a broken social system. There are lessons here for the rest of the world.

Originally published in The Guardian

Report / Africa

Nigeria’s 2019 Elections: Six States to Watch

Nigerian elections are high-stakes affairs often marred by street clashes and worse. As the 2019 contests approach, the risk of disturbances is particularly high in six states. The government and its foreign partners can limit campaign-related violence by enhancing security and promoting dialogue among rivals.

EU Watch List / Global

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia's uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria's upcoming elections. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.

Commentary / Africa

Averting Violence around Nigeria’s 2019 Elections

As election preparations get underway in Nigeria, conflict and insecurity in many parts of the country risk exacerbating intercommunal tensions and preventing a peaceful transfer of power. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018 annual early-warning update for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its members states to remain fully engaged during the election in order to curb violence and strengthen the country’s democratic institutions.

Report / Africa

Stopping Nigeria’s Spiralling Farmer-Herder Violence

Rising conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria is already six times deadlier in 2018 than Boko Haram’s insurgency. To stop the bloodshed, the federal government should improve security; end impunity for assailants; and hasten livestock sector reform. State governments should freeze open grazing bans.

Our People

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria