Indiscriminate violence in the North Central Zone, South South zone, Adamawa, Kaduna, and Taraba

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Please note that this country guidance document has been replaced by a more recent one. The latest versions of country guidance documents are available at https://easo.europa.eu/country-guidance.

Abuja (Federal Capital Territory), Benue, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba
COMMON ANALYSIS
Last updated: February 2019
 

[Security situation, 2.3.9, 3.2, 3.3; Targeting, 3.7]

Concerns for the security situation have grown in the last years due to the escalating violence involving herders and farming communities mainly in the Middle Belt states, as well as in the states of Adamawa and Taraba. Since the beginning of 2018, the violence has escalated in frequency, intensity, complexity and geographic scope. Attacks are conducted by (armed) herdsmen on farmers’ communities or by farmers’ armed groups on pastoralist communities for revenge. To tackle the attacks from the Fulani armed groups, several local communities have formed self-defence vigilante groups, allegedly in response to the lack of protection from the Nigerian security forces. These clashes have resulted in numerous casualties, population displacement and destruction of property. The Nigerian security forces have launched operations to curb the violence in several of the affected states.

Presence of actors in the conflict

Some herders’ and farmers’ communities have formed armed groups which engage in attacks against each other in the Middle Belt, Adamawa and Taraba states. The Nigerian security forces are also present in several of the affected states.

Nature of methods and tactics used by the actors in the conflict

The violence used by the armed groups involved in the conflicts between herders and farmers has evolved from spontaneous responses to trespasses and provocations, to pre-meditated and well-organised ‘scorched earth’ attacks, often taking communities by surprise at night and burning down farms and entire villages. Assault weapons are increasingly in use and sometimes the assailants attack dressed in military uniforms. The number of reported killings of civilians have increased, as armed groups are targeting entire communities.

Frequency of incidents and geographical scope

In the first half of 2018, the violence was concentrated in Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa states, in the North Central zone, and in Adamawa and Taraba states in the North East zone.

Incidents of ‘violence against civilians’ and ‘remote violence’ reported by ACLED in the affected states during the period 1 October 2017 – 31 September 2018 took place with the following frequency:

■ Abuja (Federal Capital Territory): 0.04 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Adamawa: 1 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ and 0.2 incident of ‘remote violence’ per week were reported in the state. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence related to Boko Haram. The number of incidents reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict;
 
■ Benue: 1.8 incidents of ‘violence against civilians’ per week were reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Delta: 0.5 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence in relation to militant groups in the Niger Delta. The number of incidents reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict;
 
■ Edo: 0.3 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence in relation to militant groups in the Niger Delta. The number of incidents reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict;
 
■ Ekiti: 0.3 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Kaduna: 0.7 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Kogi: 0.4 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Kwara: 0.08 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Nasarawa: 1.1 incidents of ‘violence against civilians’ per week were reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Niger: 0.04 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Plateau: 2.1 incidents of ‘violence against civilians’ per week were reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;
 
■ Taraba: 1 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; no incidents of ‘remote violence’ were reported. This state is also affected by the violence related to Boko Haram. The number of incidents reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict.
 
The following map illustrates the incidents which were recorded by ACLED during the reporting period under ‘remote violence’ and ‘violence against civilians’. Each circle indicates a location where one or more incidents took place. The size of the circle reflects the number of incidents recorded in the respective location. The circles are comparable within the map and not with other maps within this document.
 
Figure 14. EASO, Visualisation of ACLED data - Incidents of ‘violence against civilians’ and ‘remote violence’ in the states of Abuja (Federal Capital Territory), Benue, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, and Taraba (1 Oct 2017 - 30 Sep 2018).
 

Civil casualties

The reported fatalities in the period 1 October 2017 – 30 September 2018 included:

■ Abuja (Federal Capital Territory): 0.03 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Adamawa: 8.3 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and 1.2 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence related to Boko Haram. The number of incidents reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict;

■ Benue: 8.7 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Delta: 0.5 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence in relation to militant groups in the Niger Delta. The number of fatalities reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict;

■ Edo: 0.3 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence in relation to militant groups in the Niger Delta. The number of fatalities reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict;

■ Ekiti: 0.4 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Kaduna: 2.2 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Kogi: 2.3 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Kwara: 0.09 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Nasarawa: 9.9 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Niger: 0.05 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Plateau: 12 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Taraba: 8.4 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ were reported in the state; no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence related to Boko Haram. The number of incidents reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict.

Displacement

The number of IDPs from the affected states has been increasing. In the first half of 2018, about 200 000 persons have been displaced in the Middle Belt. There are reports that in June 2018, close to 170 000 people were displaced by the conflict in Benue State. In early July 2018, approximately 38 000 people were displaced by the attacks that took place on 23 and 24 June 2018 in Plateau state. Often, displacement related to this conflicts is of temporary nature.

In addition, the conflict has affected the ability of the NPF to secure law and order and the government has deployed the military to restore order. Destruction of crops and rural livelihoods affects food security, with food prices rising. The destruction of farm lands and crops could further lead to hunger and starvation for those who depend largely on agricultural produce from affected communities. There are also reports of schools being closed and around 300 000 children have been forced out of school in Benue state due to the violence. The large-scale displacement has resulted in overcrowded IDP camps, lacking safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.

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Looking at the indicators, it can be concluded that indiscriminate violence is taking place in the states affected by the conflicts between herders and farmers.
 
The states of Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Taraba are particularly affected by such indiscriminate violence. However, the general level of indiscriminate violence currently taking place in these states is not considered high and, accordingly, a higher level of individual elements is required in order to show substantial grounds for believing that a civilian, returned to these states, would face a real risk of serious harm in the meaning of Article 15(c) QD.
 
In the states of Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, and Niger, and in Abuja (Federal Capital Territory), indiscriminate violence is taking place at such a low level, that in general there is no real risk for a civilian to be personally affected by reason of indiscriminate violence in the meaning of Article 15(c) QD. However, individual elements always need to be taken into account as they could put the applicant in risk-enhancing situations.
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