Herders against Farmers: Nigeria’s Expanding Deadly Conflict

Propelled by desertification, insecurity and the loss of grazing land to expanding settlements, the southward migration of Nigeria’s herders is causing violent competition over land with local farmers. To prevent the crisis from escalating, the government should strengthen security for herders and farmers, implement conflict resolution mechanisms and establish grazing reserves.


Nigeria: Returning refugees in Borno State

The return of refugees from Cameroon, Niger, and Chad has put increased pressure on the already existing displacement situation in Banki, Gamboru, Ngala, Damasak, and Pulka. Between January and June 2017, 35,000 Nigerians have returned to Banki, in Bama LGA from Cameroon. More than 4,500 of the returnees have been relocated to Pulka in Gwoza LGA. As of April 10, the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS) had registered 119,061 returnees from Niger and 339 from Chad. Ongoing military operations within local government areas (LGAs) and villages mean the refugees are unable to return home. They thus remain displaced within the headquarters of the LGA or are relocated to a military designated safe zone – a situation that could become protracted. Living in organized camps, makeshift settlements, schools, hospitals, and host communities as their homes are not yet safe to return to, the returning refugees lack access to food, livelihood opportunities, shelter, WASH, healthcare, and other essential services.


Nigeria Situation Revised Supplementary Appeal

(26/07/2017). This revised supplementary appeal outlines UNHCR’s plan in the remaining months of 2017 to scale-up its response inside Nigeria to meet the needs of returnees, as a result of an unexpected surge in the self-organized return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon. Nigerian refugees are mainly returning to IDP settlements in north-east Nigeria. UNHCR is also intensifying mass information campaigns in the camps in northern Cameroon to ensure that refugees have accurate and updated information on the prevailing situation in areas of return in Nigeria.

Nigeria: in the dock: shell’s complicity in the arbitrary execution of the ogoni nine

In November 1995, the Nigerian state arbitrarily executed nine men after a blatantly unfair trail. The executions led to global condemnation. Officially accused of involvement in murder, the men had in fact been put on trial because they had challenged the devastating impact of oil production by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell, in the Ogoniland region of the Niger Delta. This briefing examines the role played by the Shell in the unfair trial and arbitrary execution of the Ogoni Nine. Shell has always denied any involvement. However, Amnesty International’s work at the time, as well as evidence being used in a new legal action in the Netherlands, brought by the widows of some of the men who were executed, paints a very different picture.

Instruments of Pain (IV): The Food Crisis in North East Nigeria

The humanitarian crisis in north east Nigeria is at risk of growing worse. Almost five million people in the region (8.5 million across the wider Lake Chad basin) are facing severe food insecurity. This primarily is a result of a seven-year-old insurgency by Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, which provoked forced displacement as well as massive infrastructure destruction. But the Nigerian military’s forceful counter-insurgency strategy also was a precipitating factor. Amid this situation, aid agencies are unable to access many of those in need due to security constraints and lack sufficient funding for 2017. They warn that emergency food rations may be cut in weeks, just as the lean season approaches for the vulnerable millions.

Watchmen of Lake Chad: Vigilante Groups Fighting Boko Haram

Report Nº  244 / Africa. Regional armies in the Lake Chad basin deploy vigilantes to sharpen campaigns against Boko Haram insurgents. But using these militias creates risks as combatants turn to communal violence and organised crime. Over the long term they must be disbanded or regulated.

Nigeria: Women and the Boko Haram Insurgency

Women have suffered violence and abuse by Boko Haram, but they are not only victims: some joined the jihadists voluntarily, others fight the insurgency, or work in relief and reconciliation. Women’s experiences should inform policies to tackle the insurgency, and facilitate their contribution to peace.

North East Nigeria: Children’s lives and futures at risk

Six years ago, the international community stood, watched and waited as evidence emerged of a looming famine in Somalia. The early warning signs were clearly visible, as the combined effects of drought and conflict took their toll. By the time the international relief effort got into full swing, it was too late to prevent a catastrophe. Around a quarter of a million people lost their lives – over half of the victims were children under five years old.i In the countless analyses that were carried out, UN agencies recognised that delayed action had cost lives. Governments around the world pledged to ensure that the humanitarian systems would never again fail on such a scale.

Nigeria: ‘Bullets were raining everywhere’: Deadly repression of pro-Biafra activists

Index number: AFR 44/5211/2016. Since August 2015, the security forces have killed at least 150 members and supporters of the pro-Biafran organization IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) and injured hundreds during non-violent meetings, marches and other gatherings. This report focuses on the crisis brewing in the southeast of Nigeria, where IPOB campaigns for an independent state of Biafra. It documents extrajudicial executions and the use of excessive force by military, police and other security agencies. It also shows a worrying pattern of arbitrary arrests and detentions, including soldiers arresting wounded victims in hospital, and of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees.