HIGHLIGHTS AND OPERATIONAL CONTEXT
Security - In Nigeria, renewed Boko Haram (BH) activity was recorded in north-western Borno and north-eastern Yobe States, where the al-Barnawi faction is believed to be operating. These developments are seen as result of the withdrawal of Chadian forces from the Multnational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) factions posted along Lake Chad.
Over the month, the insurgents carried out two attacks on Nigerian military and government forces, dislodging them from their positions in two of Borno’s local government areas (LGAs). The Nigerian Senate has launched an investigation into these worsening security conditions to deal with this issue as one that affects the entire country.
In Cameroon, the security situation remained fluid and a decrease in the number of civilian casualties and attacks was recorded. Military counter-insurgency operations took place along the border near the end of the month. In Chad, with the end of the rainy season and the drop in water levels, several small scale attacks and skirmishes were recorded in the Lake region, some of which were suspected to have been carried out by BH. In Niger, the general atmosphere is reported to be calmer with fear around kidnappings decreasing. However, the number of criminal incidents rose slightly in comparison to October but no terrorism-related activities were reported.
In Nigeria, the Adamawa State Technical Working Group (TWG) visited several areas including the Sahuda border entry point, and met with civilian and military officials as well as IDPs, refugee returnees and host communities, within the context of the Tripartite Agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees. Following these visits, the TWG recommended that the return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon start in February 2018 to areas assessed as secure enough to allow for voluntary return.
In Cameroon, the number of arrivals at Gorounguel transit centre rose over the month, to an average of 100 persons/week. They cited insecurity in the vicinities of Maiduguri and Mubi as the main reason for their departure.
Gorounguel has also been receiving arrivals from the Far North region of Cameroon, seeking protection, assistance and family reunification. In addition, a total 1,126 Nigerian refugees have returned from Nigeria to date after spontaneously leaving Minawao refugee camp over the past few months, mainly due to insecurity and the absence of adequate infrastructure in their areas of origin. Additional refugees could have returned without having initially declared their departure.
In Chad, following visits by authorities of the Kaya Department, in the west and north-west vicinities of Baga Sola, population movements were reported (2,500 persons). Authorities are reported to have requested their departure for security reasons. This group finds itself in precarious conditions as its members were not able to take any of their belongings with them in the rush. A multisector assessment mission is planned for December.
In Niger, following the first phase of biometric registration (BIMS) in Sayam Forage refugee camp, completed in October, the second phase of the project, which aims to biometrically register the entire out-of-camp displaced population (refugees, IDPs and returnees) began on 20 November. This exercise will cover all spontaneous sites hosting displaced persons along the region’s three main axes: Bosso, Toumour and Chétimari.