North-East Nigeria: Protection Monitoring Report, July - August 2020



The security situation in North-East Nigeria during the reporting period remained precarious with the Non-State Arm Groups (NSAG) sustaining a continued campaign of terror using various tactics such as indiscriminate direct and indirect fires and propaganda in the region. Their attacks continued to focus on soft and hard targets such as civilian and military populations in the field, including neighbouring countries1 2 and areas close to Maiduguri Metropolitan City (MMC). In an additional shift in tactics, they have declared humanitarian actors as legitimate targets, which further increases the risk in programme delivery3. Flood and COVID-19, on the other hand, continued to impact negatively on the lives of the affected population in a fragile protection environment.

In Borno State, several attacks, ambushes, and the mounting of illegal vehicle check points (IVCP) by NSAG along the main supply routes linking Maiduguri-Monguno, Bama-Pulka-Gwoza, Maiduguri-Damboa, Maiduguri-Damaturu, among other roads, culminated into killings, kidnappings and abductions of PoCs. Humanitarian workers and civilians, despite efforts by the Security Forces (SF) providing escorts for commuters on the affected routes and providing physical security in the camps and settlements. NSAG infiltration into camps was also reported in Dikwa, Monguno, Bama, Gwoza, Pulka, Ngala, Konduga and Jere.

In July 2020, Humanitarian Actors were deliberately targeted when an UNHAS helicopter was attacked in Damasak. Although it returned and landed safely in Maiduguri4, this compelled UNHAS to temporally halt helicopter operation, thereby impacting on humanitarian access. Furthermore, five Humanitarian workers comprising of three aid workers, a government employee and a private security guard were abducted in June 2020 along Maiduguri-Monguno road and were subsequently executed on 22 July 2020.

In Adamawa State, Security Forces continued to repel the frequent attacks of NSAG at military checkpoints in Madagali LGA especially in areas located at the fringes of Sambisa Forest. Activities of Organized Criminal Groups (OCG) also resulted in armed robbery, abduction, extortion of civilians, and civil unrest mainly in Jemeta, Demsa, Guyuk, and Lamurde Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the central zone of the state. In Lamurde and Guyuk LGAs, land disputes between Boshikiri and Anguwan Dustse communities and ethnic clashes in Lamza community led to several killings and several houses torched. These clashes led to the displacement of people into crowded classrooms, incomplete buildings, and makeshift tents with limited access to basic amenities in Demsa LGA.

In Yobe State, NSAG continued to mass up in mostly Julluri village in Tarmuwa, Gujba and Bursari LGAs leading to destruction and theft of property, physical assault, hostage-taking, abduction for ransom and killings. As such, attacks and threats of imminent attacks on the communities5 continue to cause widespread fear amongst the civilian population.

The Nigeria Government reopened the Maiduguri and Yola airports in July for commercial flight services after their closure for three months owing to COVID-19 preventive measures. This has significantly eased humanitarian movement to these locations in addition to the existing United Nations Humanitarian Services (UNHAS). In August, the Government also announced the partial reopening of schools through the resumption of terminal classes and the commencement of their final exams.