Nigeria + 3 more

North-East Nigeria Operational Update, February 2022


UNHCR distributed 2,000 tarpaulins and core relief items such as jerry cans to support some 500 families that survived a fire at Muna IDP camp Maiduguri, which killed 3 people and destroyed nearly 1,300 shelters.

UNHCR and partners recorded over 3,400 individuals who moved across the borders between Nigeria, Cameroon,
Niger, and Chad, either fleeing from attacks or in search of better services in camps.

Nearly 4,200 IDPs and returnees accessed UNHCR’s 30 Protection Desks in Borno State to complain about their health conditions, lack of access to basic services, and forced marriages.

Operational Highlights

  • Gun battles continued between non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and the military, forcing people, especially from inaccessible areas, to escape into IDP camps in local council headquarters in North-East Nigeria. NSAG members also continued to surrender to government forces. Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States (BAY States) were characterised by armed attacks, person-borne Improvised Explosive Device (IED), abductions, illegal vehicle checkpoints, and other crimes. The situation was compounded by rampant fire outbreaks that led to loss of lives and properties, exacerbated with the food crisis, COVID-19, and general hardships faced by IDPs and refugee returnees.

  • In Borno State, NSAGs mounted roadside IEDs, set ambushes, and illegal vehicle checkpoints on some major highways abducting passengers and depriving them of their money, mobile phones, identification cards, and other valuables causing fear among people and affecting their freedom of movement. Killing and abduction of IDPs and refugee returnees were reported as they were searching for firewood in the bush or trying to reach their farm land. NSAG members forced farmers and fishermen in some villages with threats to vacate their communities which prompted people to flee to nearby villages and be dependent on the limited assistance provided by humanitarian actors.

  • In Adamawa State, organised criminal gangs perpetrated armed robbery, abduction, rape, and sexual assault in Yola South, Michika, Guyuk, and Girei Local Government Areas (LGAs). Meanwhile, IDPs and returnees continued to face challenges with house rental payments. Many already received notice by their landowners to evacuate. UNHCR has intensified its advocacy with the authorities and is currently discussing durable solutions projects involving construction of permanent shelters and urgent scale-up of livelihood and re-integration programmes, especially in return areas, with humanitarian and development actors. They would aim at empowering affected families and further their self-sustenance.

  • In Yobe State, NSAG members mounted illegal vehicle checkpoints in some communities in the South-East of Damaturu town where they reportedly intercepted two commercial vehicles and abducted six IDPs. Meanwhile, four staff members of an international nongovernmental organisation, on mission to Yobe State, died and others sustained injuries in a car crash. The injured people and corpses were evacuated to a medical facility in Damaturu town.

  • On 19 February 2022, fire raged through Muna IDP camp in Borno State killing three people and burning some 1,300 shelters. UNHCR and partners assessed the loss, and subsequently distributed 2,000 tarpaulins to survivors, as well as blankets, jerrycans, plastic kettles, kitchen sets, dignity kits, and other core relief items to support about 500 families. The community was mobilised to rebuild their shelters with support from the humanitarian community and the Borno State Government. Similar fires affected camps in other LGAs in Adamawa State, they were attributed to fire for cooking under poor shelter conditions (straws) in crowded areas during the dry season.