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CrisisWatch Nigeria

Deteriorated Situation

Two Boko Haram (BH) factions – Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Abubakar Shekau’s group (JAS) – stepped up attacks in north east while in north west jihadist group Ansaru claimed first attack since 2013 as military continued operations against bandits, amid ongoing herder-related and criminal violence in Middle Belt and Niger Delta respectively. In north east, BH 20 Jan killed local leader of Christian association after abducting him 3 Jan in Adamawa state. In Borno state, military 4 Jan repelled BH attack in Konduga area, six insurgents and four soldiers killed. BH 4 Jan killed three civilians in Chibok area. ISWAP claimed responsibility for 7 Jan attack on Monguno town which killed eight soldiers. In apparent attempt to cut off Borno state capital Maiduguri from rest of country, insurgents attacked travellers on road linking Maiduguri to Yobe state capital, Damaturu: 9 Jan abducted seven, 28 Jan killed three others. BH 20 Jan reportedly killed twenty displaced persons and one soldier in Ngala town. Military 12 Jan reported four ISWAP commanders killed in Lake Chad area; air force 27 Jan reported scores of ISWAP fighters killed in same area 24-25 Jan. Suicide bombers 26 Jan killed three in Gwoza town; 30 Jan killed four in Maiduguri outskirts. In north west, army 12 Jan reported anti-banditry operations in Zamfara and Katsina states 16 Dec-9 Jan killed 106 bandits. Bandits killed 31 people in Zamfara state 14-15 Jan and at least twenty in Niger state 5-25 Jan. In Kaduna state, gunmen killed around 35 people 6-12 Jan; long-dormant jihadist group Ansaru claimed 14 Jan attack against prominent traditional chief’s convoy that killed at least six people. Violence continued in Middle Belt: 30 killed 1 Jan in Tawari town, Kogi state; twelve killed in Kulben village in clash between cattle rustlers and local youths 9 Jan and 23 killed 27 Jan in Kwatas village, both Plateau state. In Niger Delta, pirates 3 Jan killed four navy personnel and kidnapped three foreign workers in Bayelsa state; navy 7 Jan rescued kidnapped men.

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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

Project Director, 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

Senior 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

Video / Africa

Video – Returning from the Land of Jihad: The Fate of Women Who Lived with Boko Haram

In late 2018 Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Gender Azadeh Moaveni went to north-east Nigeria, which has been the epicenter of the fight between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military, to explore how effectively women formerly associated with the group have been rehabilitated and reintegrated back into society.

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.

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Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria