Worsening crises in north-western Nigeria

Worsening crises in north-western Nigeria Photo by Emmanuel Ikwegbu

Humanitarian assistance and protection is needed for the abducted population in north-western Nigeria

As the International Rescue Committee (IRC) reports, the civilian population in north-western Nigeria is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance due to the conflict between armed groupsIt is estimated that in the states of Zamfara and Sokoto, armed attacks have forced 10,000 people to evacuate their homes in the last two months, and caused the deaths of at least 92 civilians. 

North-central and north-western areas of Nigeria face a complex crisis involving long-standing ethnic and religious tensions, often leading to armed attacks and cases of banditry. Criminal groups specifically carry out kidnappings and robberies along the main roads. In recent years, the crisis has worsened, leading to an emigration of the civilian population from these regions.
Many people are forced to reside in open spaces with minimal belongings and without basic necessities. More than half of the civilians affected by these attacks are women, who are at risk of exploitation and abuse.
The IRC stresses that urgent humanitarian assistance is needed to meet the basic needs of these communities, particularly water and sanitation, health and protection services.

As Reuters reported, kidnapping cases have become endemic in northwest Nigeria, with roving gangs of armed men abducting people from villages, highways and schools and demanding money from their relatives.
They attacked Gora, Madomawa and Jambuzu, and 38 men and 67 women and children are reported missing, but the number could be higher.

The kidnapping violates the agreement between the armed groups and the civilian population, which has been forced to make several ransom payments to prevent them from attacking their territory again.
Mass kidnappings were first carried out by the jihadist group Boko Haram, when they abducted more than 200 students a decade ago, but the practice has been adopted by armed gangs with no known ideological affiliation and has grown, especially against the economically disadvantaged Nigerian population.



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