Nigeria + 2 more

North-East Nigeria: Operational Update, December 2020

Situation Report
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Over 10,000 displaced people were screened for vulnerabilities across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

UNHCR reached over 68,000 IDPs, IDP and refugee returnees in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states through project monitoring and site visits.

3,800 beneficiaries were attended at Protection Desks where they received multilingual information on COVID-19 prevention.

Operational Highlights

  • In December, North-East Nigeria continued to witness intense attacks by non-state armed groups (NSAG). Following an attack in Toumour (Republic of Niger) on 12 December 2020, several families crossed into Nigeria. As at 31 December 2020, 150 Nigerian refugees had arrived in Damasak from Niger. In addition, 10 Nigerien asylum-seekers were recorded.

  • In Borno State, an NSAG attacked farmers on their farmlands on 3 December to rob, among other things, food during harvest. On 28 November, about 40 farmers were killed by NSAGs in Zabarmari village in the outskirts of Maiduguri, the State capital.

  • Illegal checkpoints on roads have become a daily practice for NSAG especially in Northern Borno. In the first wek of December alone, 17 such illegal vehicle checkpoints have been mounted in 4 LGAs (Local Government Areas) allowing NSAG actors to rob valuables and vehicles as well as abduct or injure some passengers. An estimated nine individuals were abducted including drivers and humanitarians. Furthermore, an INGO vehicle was robbed in Damasak, and the hired driver abducted.

  • In Adamawa State, NSAG increased activities with a surge in armed conflict and criminal activities especially in Gombi LGA where they attacked Garkida town, burned properties, abducted some people and killed others.

  • In Yobe state, the ongoing campaign of terror by NSAG mostly around Gujba, Geidam and Gulani axis continued to cause displacement, tensions between herders and farmers and increasingly threatened the fragile social coexistence in the return communities of Goniri, Gotala Gotumba and Kukareta.

  • Despite the official entry points remaining closed due to COVID-19 preventive measures, cross border movements were recorded in the four entry points monitored by UNHCR and partners in Banki, Damasak, Ngala and Pulka. 2,851 individuals, the majority women and girls, moved in and out of Nigeria with 49% of the population recorded in Banki, 40% in Damasak, 8% in Ngala and 3% in Pulka. Nigerians accounted for 80% of the recorded movements, the rest were Cameroonians. The major triggers for movement in the period included family visits (37%), spontaneous return from countries of asylum (17%), job opportunities (16%) and forced displacement due to insurgency and counter insurgency (11%). Other triggers were access to services in camps in Nigeria, seasonal migration and COVID-19 fears.

  • Multiple internal displacements continued to be recorded in the BAY (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe) states, notably in camps and host communities in Borno and Adamawa. In December, 7,249 new arrivals were recorded. The movements were triggered by family reunification reasons, socio-economic difficulties, fear of attacks.

  • Spontaneous returns of refugees continued in December. 202 individuals were registered by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in partnership with UNHCR: 120 from Cameroon, 82 from the Republic of Niger (through Damasak).