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Terrorism killed Over 35,000 People In North-east Nigeria In the last decade, report

2.5 million individuals have been displaced.

According to a research performed to determine the extent of impact instability has had on the Nigerian state, roughly 35,000 individuals have died prematurely, with over 2.5 million people relocated both within and outside the Lake Chad Basin.

More data from the Nextier Violent Conflict Database, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker, and the Managing Conflict in Northeast Nigeria (MCN) shows that the North East region experienced 23 violent conflict incidents between January and March 2022, resulting in 172 deaths and 23 kidnapping victims.

The study noted that the northeast faced extreme terrorist violence for over twelve years, with several communities in the region experiencing terror attacks that have degraded livelihood opportunities, exacerbated poor services and deepened the humanitarian crisis.

“The Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker, notes that about 35,000 people have died from the ongoing crisis. Over 2.5 million people are displaced within the region and in the Lake Chad Basin. These Data from Nextier Violent Conflict Database show that between January and March 2022, the region recorded 23 violent conflict incidents resulting in 172 deaths and 23 kidnap victims.

“Compared to the same period in 2021, the region recorded 35 percent more violent incidents, a 91 percent increase in deaths, and a 109 percent increase in the number of kidnap victims. This violence trend may endure as many of the region’s population are vulnerable to new attacks despite the counter-terrorism measures of the Nigerian government and her Lake Chad Basin neighbours,”the study revealed.

The report which was made available to the media on Tuesday, in Abuja also noted that trailing the northeast’s terrorist attacks are the displacement and humanitarian woes.

It said owing to the backlash, internally displaced persons (IDPs) seek refuge in displacement camps where basic services are sparse, coupled with limited opportunities for livelihood and self-sufficiency.

“The humanitarian crises spill beyond the IDP camps to include communities, where large populations struggle due to depleted livelihood sources, destroyed infrastructure, bodily harm, limited access to and availability of external support. Such host communities are often hostile to the IDPs, given that available resources cannot meet the needs of both groups.

“Furthermore, beyond the communities that have been sacked by violence, other residents face the direct and indirect impact of the northeast violence.

“Women, girls, and boys significantly populate refuge sites in Nigeria’s conflict-impacted northeast and beyond it. These demographics’ vulnerabilities are deepened by the continuance of terror, prolonged displacement periods and humanitarian crises.

“Besides, most violent conflicts affect women and girls differently. For instance, women and girls in the northeast are often kidnapped, sexually violated, forced into marriages, or turned into suicide bombers. Young boys are victims of these challenges as their vulnerability predisposes them to the antics of jihadist groups.

“Furthermore, boys in this situation are also recruited by self-defence militias. In 2018, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reported that a local militia fighting Boko Haram insurgents released about 833 child soldiers in northeast Nigeria. According to UNICEF, the released children were among the nearly 1,500 boys and girls recruited by vigilante militias,”the report further revealed.

According to the report facilitators, the Nigerian government and its development partners have strived to assist the afflicted populations, especially deploying efforts to return and resettle millions of the displaced population.

Highlighting other efforts of the Nigerian government, the study said it opened an amnesty window in 2016 for low-risk repentant insurgents, including the Nigerian military’s Operation Safe Corridor (OSC) which manages this programme as a counter-insurgency approach to deplete terrorist organisations in the northeast and broader Lake Chad Basin.

The study observed that reintegrating processed participants of the programme proved difficult as many communities say they do not want them back.

It report noted, “The conflict in the northeast and its aftermath have depleted social cohesion. Multiple subsets of the population have been created as a result. Fostering social cohesion between the groups has been difficult for the Nigerian government.

“For instance, several intervention programmes in the region have a social cohesion component, given the subject matter’s relevance to community resilience and stabilisation. Social cohesion is also relevant to preventing and managing internal conflicts such as the indigene-settler dichotomy, IDPs versus host communities, repentant insurgents, and host communities. These scenarios require a more robust and all-inclusive engagement to salvage multidimensional challenges.

“The development challenges in the northeast region are significant but not intractable. The Nigerian government must encourage its development partners to support intrinsic community efforts geared towards resilience. Nextier recently completed a study on community conflict resilience in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states”.

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