Summary: In the past two months the Nigerian Government forces with the support of the Multinational forces of Niger, Cameroon, and Chad have made significant progress to dislodge the insurgency from their occupied territories. The forces have also entered into the Sambisa forest which is the usual hiding place of the insurgency and a number of women and girls have been rescued. Despite progress made so far, the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has risen to over two million according to the UN while the number of refugees in the three neighbouring countries - Cameroon, Niger and Chad is over 150,000 people, mostly women and girls.
The IDPs are still being kept in the camps and many of them are in host communities with no or little support. The recaptured territories are not yet habitable and people are not yet confident to go back to the original villages because of fear of the insurgency. In addition, most of the infrastructure such as roads, houses, water facilities, hospitals, clinics and schools were destroyed by the insurgents before fleeing. Government and other stakeholders therefore should ensure that these infrastructures are in working conditions before the people could return.
The insurgency has developed new tactics and approaches. There are increased suicide bombings mostly carried out by women, girls and children targeting crowded places including markets and places of worship. On average there are 10 suicide attacks taking place in the Northeast per week. It is clear that this is a desperate move by the insurgency since they cannot organize themselves due to increased pressure from the multinational forces. The incoming Government has pledged to continue with the fight with intensified support to the forces and revisiting the military strategy against the insurgency. The new Government is contemplating to move the command centre to Borno, Maiduguri to ensure effective implementation of the strategy.