Nigeria is confronted by multiple security challenges, notably the resilient Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the north east, long-running discontent and militancy in the Niger Delta, increasing violence between herders and farming communities spreading from the central belt southward, and separatist Biafra agitation in the Igbo south east. Violence, particularly by the Boko Haram insurgency, has displaced more than two million people, created a massive humanitarian crisis, and prompted the rise of civilian vigilante self-defence groups that pose new policy dilemmas and possible security risks. Crisis Group seeks to help the Nigerian government by shedding new light on the country’s security challenges, de-escalating risks and tension, and encouraging regional and gender-specific approaches toward ending the violence durably.

CrisisWatch Nigeria

Unchanged Situation

Insecurity remained widespread as jihadist, bandit and separatist violence persisted despite security forces’ operations against armed groups.

Army reported gains against jihadists in North East, but groups remained threat. Govt’s “clearance campaign” against Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram militants around Lake Chad and Sambisa Forest in Borno state made some gains including troops 2-6 June raiding four ISWAP camps in Bama, Marte and Ngala areas, reportedly killing over 100 insurgents; soldiers 15 June destroyed multiple ISWAP camps around southern shore of Lake Chad, rescuing 34 women and children held captive by group. ISWAP, however, continued attacks on civilian population in north east of Borno in attempt to reassert control. Notably, militants 10 June abducted unconfirmed numbers of travellers along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway. Three suspected female suicide bombers 29 June attacked several locations in Gwoza town, near Cameroon border, killing 32 people and wounding 42.

Banditry remained widespread in North West and North Central zones. Security forces continued ground and air campaign against armed groups including Kaduna state govt 13 June saying it had killed notorious bandit leader alias Buharin Yadi and almost 40 others in Giwa and Sabuwa areas, while airstrikes 15 June killed over 80 armed group members in Katsina state’s Faskari area. Despite military operations, armed groups continued attacks and abductions including in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Sokoto states. Notably, in Katsina, gunmen 4 June killed at least 30 in several villages in Dutsin-Ma and Safana areas, while in Kankara area bandits 9 June killed 26 people including four police officers and kidnapped dozens in two villages. In Sokoto, armed group 16 June attacked village in Gwadabawa area, killing six and abducting over 100. 

South East recorded uptick in violence between security forces and separatists. In Abia state, troops 8 June raided camp of separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) armed wing Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Arochukwu area, killing six. Authorities blamed IPOB/ESN for 11 June killing of two police officers and one civilian in Ikeduru area, Imo state. 

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In The News

23 Feb 2023
We must take these [Nigerian presidential elections] polls with a generous amount of salt.The poll samples are small and focusing on literate people. Reuters

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria

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Nnamdi Obasi

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Nnamdi Obasi

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