• The security situation in the northern parts of Yobe state, especially in Geidam and Yunusari Local Government Areas (LGA) remains precarious as suspected non-state armed group (NSAG) operatives have maintained presence in the general area in proximity to both Geidam and Yunusari towns.
• While more people are reported to have returned to Geidam town, the process is not sustainable because they still need urgent life-saving assistance, which is difficult to deliver due to limited access in the context of the prevailing security situation in the area.
• The Multi-Sector Rapid Needs Assessment was carried out this week by the state government with the support of humanitarian partners in 9 LGAs hosting internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the state.
• The scale-up of in-kind food distribution across the state has started as part of the World Food Programme (WFP) planned famine mitigation measure. The distribution is targeting 630,000 beneficiaries which will gradually be reached in the period from May to August 2021. There are normally 95,000 in-kind and cash voucher beneficiaries in Yobe.
On the 24 May 2021, suspected NSAG operatives infiltrated Yunusari town, host to over 7,000 IDPs from Geidam and Kanamma towns and maintains two transit sites for newly arrived IDPs. On 25 May 2021, armed men suspected to be NSAG operatives also mounted a brief illegal vehicle check point along Yunusari-Yusufari Road. It is the first time that the suspected NSAG operatives infiltrated Yunusari town, firing sporadically and reportedly looted some medical supplies in the primary health care facility. It is also the first time that suspected insurgents have mounted a check point between Yunusari and Yusufari town along the northern highway route. These events triggered secondary displacement of IDP households to Gashua, Yusufari, Nguru and Damaturu, adding to the dire situation of the IDPs. Yunusari is about 70 KM and Yusufari only 25 KM from Gashua, which is a key humanitarian hub for response to the needs of the IDPs north of Yobe.
Many families continue to report cases of missing family members, especially children, in the month following the massive displacement from Geidam and Kanamma towns. There are speculations that some of the children may have escaped across the border into the neighboring Republic of Niger following the attack on Kanamma town on 1 May 2021. The state government, with the support of Protection Sector partners, continues to follow up and are consolidating names of reported cases to coordinate for the cross-border tracing.
While some of the displaced persons from Geidam are attempting to return back home, many of them report that they are traumatized by the continuous insecurity situation in their area. Local partners have reported that the IDPs are becoming more agitated during distributions. Some of the people who have tried to return to Geidam do not spend the night in the town but rather in the rural communities near Geidam. Many of them travel to see the situation and return to their place of displacement.
With the approaching rainy season, farmers have expressed concern over their safety as they are not able to securely access their farms to start preparing for planting. Dry season farmers in the wetlands have reported that they have lost their crops and vegetables because they could not irrigate them due to access challenges. This makes returns unsustainable in the context of the prevailing security situation. It also calls for continues lifesaving assistance for the returns as well as the IDPs in the places of displacement.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.