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CrisisWatch Nigeria

Deteriorated Situation

Country’s multiple violent conflicts further escalated, notably in Borno and Zamfara states, leaving hundreds killed and tens of thousands displaced. In North East, jihadists stepped up attacks as Ramadan started 12 April. Notably, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) 10-14 April launched three attacks on Damasak town, Borno state, killing at least 20 civilians and displacing about 65,000. Boko Haram combatants from Abubakar Shekau-led faction (JAS) 9 April killed at least 11 civilians in Hong area, Adamawa state, with 5,000 more displaced. ISWAP 23-28 April seized strategic Geidam town, Yobe state, 26 April overran army camp in Mainok town, Borno state, killing about 33 soldiers. Herder-farmer and intercommunal violence rose in several states. Notably, gunmen killed at least 17 farmers in Guma area, Benue state, 23-24 April; 14 farmers in Doma and Keana areas, Nasarawa state, 24-27 April; 19 herders in Awkuzu town, Anambra state, 26 April. Violence involving Fulani traders and vigilantes, followed by armed attacks on villages 19-22 April left at least 83 killed in Maru, Bakura and Maradun areas of Zamfara state. Local militia 8 April killed 11 soldiers amid intercommunal violence in Konshisha area, Benue state. In North West and North Centre, kidnappings for ransom and other violence ran high. In Niger state, gunmen 31 March-1 April killed at least 14, including six soldiers, in Shiroro area, 21 April attacked military camp in Munya area, and 24 April kidnapped 35 in Shiroro and Munya areas. In Kaduna state, gunmen 20-22 April abducted 100 in Chikun and Kajuru areas, later killing at least five of them. In South East and South South, gunmen stepped up attacks on security personnel and facilities, but also ethnic Hausa and Fulani northerners, killing 13 northerners in Enugu and Imo states 29 March-3 April, and freeing over 1,800 inmates at Owerri prison in Imo state 5 April. Authorities blamed Eastern Security Network (ESN), armed wing of outlawed separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and security forces 24 April raided ESN headquarters in Awomama town, Imo state, killing 11 including senior commanders. IPOB immediately promised “hell” to those involved.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

16 Mar 2021
The [Nigerian] military [has] yet to achieve decisive results against the insurgents in the northeast and various armed groups in the northwest. Al Jazeera

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
1 Mar 2021
Les gouverneurs locaux [au Nigéria] insistent pour dire qu’aucune rançon n’a jamais été versée, mais c’est très difficile à croire. Le Monde Afrique

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
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

Former 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

Latest Updates

Q&A / Africa

Halting Repeated School Kidnappings in Nigeria

Gunmen snatched more than 270 girls from a boarding school in north-western Nigeria on 26 February, releasing them four days later. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Nnamdi Obasi looks at why the authorities are struggling to prevent these mass kidnappings.

Podcast / Africa

Protests against Police Brutality Shake Nigeria

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Nnamdi Obasi and Comfort Ero explain the significance of Nigeria’s police brutality crisis and the resulting #ENDSARS protests. Rob Malley and guest host Richard Atwood also examine the protracted process of the U.S. presidential election.

Commentary / Africa

The Islamic State Franchises in Africa: Lessons from Lake Chad

While in decline in the Levant, the Islamic State has claimed some gains in Africa. Testimonies from defectors who once waged jihad in the Lake Chad basin shed new light on the impact and workings of the “caliphate” south of the Sahara.

Also available in Français
Statement / Africa

Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protest: De-escalate Tensions, Start Deep Police Reform

What began as an orderly demonstration against an abusive police squad has become a national crisis in Nigeria. To lower the temperature, the government needs to move quickly to investigate wrongdoing by security agencies, give victims the justice they deserve and initiate far-reaching police reforms. 

Our People

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria