Gwoza Local Government Authority (LGA) has been at the centre of the humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria, with Pulka town experiencing intense fighting and insecurity.
The LGA has seen the killing of hundreds of civilians, the abduction of women and girls, the destruction of towns, and the large-scale forced displacement of populations.
Livelihoods have been devastated and assets looted.
Gwoza LGA borders with Cameroon, and throughout the crisis civilians have fled across the border, including to Minawao Refugee Camp. In August 2014 Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs) took control of Pulka. However, the Nigerian Armed Forces re-took the town in March 2015 and since then populations are slowly starting to return, especially since the start of 2017. Local government has been slow to be reinstated in Pulka town however, and this has had a negative impact on the humanitarian response.
The security situation outside Pulka town remains tenuous, and concerns about the protection of civilians remain high.
Freedom of movement is restricted due to a curfew after 8pm as well as a 2km security perimeter. Displaced populations continue to arrive regularly in Pulka, generally from insecure areas such as Dure, Ngoshe, Kirawa and Baladagawisha. These individuals are screened by the Nigerian military upon arrival.
The only locations which have a permanent humanitarian presence in Gwoza LGA are Pulka and Gwoza towns.
Humanitarian personnel are transported to these locations by the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).
Humanitarian organisations have limited access to the area east of Pulka and the Mandara mountain range (that lie along the eastern edge of Gwoza LGA) due to ongoing hostilities between the parties to the conflict.
Between Konduga and Pulka, humanitarian personnel and cargo traveling by road require an armed escort.
Protection of civilians is of grave concern. Displaced civilians are regularly arriving from insecure areas. There have also been reports of civilian abductions in the Pulka area by NSAGs. There is a need for more comprehensive analysis surrounding the ability of beneficiaries to access services in a safe and dignified manner.
Populations in Gwoza LGA continue to face emergency food security levels (IPC Phase 4) as farming activities remain far below normal.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.