North-East Nigeria: Protection Monitoring Report, May - June 2020

Situation Report
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The situation context in the Northeast Nigeria in May and June was characterised by sustained activities of the NSAG and counter activities of the Government forces which resulted in the displacement of communities and individual level incidents. Criminal activities and civil unrest were reported in the region. Natural disasters such as windstorm and floods continue to impact the protection environment and the ongoing response activities in different ways.

In Borno State, ISWAP elements in the Northern axis intensified its attacks on civilian population and on military targets using various tactics such as mounting of illegal check points along Monguno-Maiduguri Road, attack on the communities in Dikwa, Nganzai, Monguno and Ngala, abductions and planting of IEDs on the main supply routes linking Mungono and Maiduguri. JAS elements in the Southernmost part of the State intensified attacks on military targets in Bama-Banki, Gwoza and launched attacks on motorists on the Maiduguri-Damboa road, with two trucks conveying humanitarian aid caught in the middle, and Maiduguri-Damaturu main Supply routes. Raids on civilian populations and camps for food and other supplies were reported in Dikwa, Damboa and Biu.

The Humanitarian community was also the target of attack by the NSAG in June. The Humanitarian Hub in Monguno hosting over 50 humanitarian workers was attacked on 13th June and assets set ablaze. From all indications this was a well-planned and coordinated attack and was followed with the abduction of the aid workers along Mungono Maiduguri main supply route. The activities of the NSAG also resulted in contamination in Jere, Bama-Banki road, Monguno and Ngala 1 with UXOs.

The impact of the activities of the NSAG include the looting of food and NFIs from the affected population, abductions and killing. Illegal checkpoints have resulted in the disruption of main supply routes linking Maiduguri- Damaturu, Mungono – Maiduguri, Bama-Maiduguri and Rann-Ngala hindering civilian and humanitarian movements. This has violated the right to freedom of movement as enshrined in chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) as amended.

At the peak of the dry season in May, several fire incidents were witnessed in camps in Borno State. In the most recent fire incident in Muna Garage in MMC, nearly 4,000 displaced persons lost all their property. In the past few months, several fire incidents have occurred in congested IDP camps across North East Nigeria where shelters are too closely constructed for safety.

In Adamawa State, activities of the NSAG continued. In Michika LGA in the northern axis, kidnappers continue to terrorise the returnee communities demanding money under threat of kidnapping. Communal clashes were reported over ownership of farmland at Lagule community and between the Tangalere and Bare communities over boundary issues. These resulted in burning of several houses in Adamawa Central. Cattle rustling, kidnapping and gun running continue to cause fears in the Southern parts of Adamawa State. Criminal activities and the Shilla boys2 continue to heighten fear amongst the civilian population in the affected areas.

In Yobe State, the situation was characterised by the movement and regrouping of the NSAG Members reported in the Northern part of the State. This has resulted in the displacement of returnees from Dapchi to Damaturu. NSAG continued to plant IEDs and mount ambushes and illegal checkpoints on main supply routes. Attacks on civilian and military targets were also reported in the northern and southern part of the state.

The Measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 such as the restriction of interstate movements, closure of Courts and curfews have remained in force, negative socio-economic impact on the lives of the affected population. FGDs undertaken with the affected communities during the reporting period reveal that some of the impact include; reduced income and loss of livelihoods due to inter-state travel ban, an increase in the prices of raw materials, increase in the cost of fuel wood, increased negative coping behaviours such as intimate partner violence, begging and hawking by the children as schools remain closed.

On a positive note, the Borno State Judiciary granted courts “to recommence in Bama, Monguno, Dikwa and Damasak in compliance with CLASS and as facilitated by the chief registrar working with relevant agencies.”In the same vein, the sitting of the 2 mobile courts located in Bakasi and Gubio Road IDP Camps in MMC was extended, to twice a week, in line with both camp and health regulations and CLASS. Similar extensions have been granted to other courts4 in addition to virtual court sittings as a COVID-19 prevention measure. As part of the government’s measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, correctional institutions were ordered to release inmates to decongest the detention facilities. These developments will no doubt, increase access to the courts by the affected population and contribute to the building of an overall conducive protection environment.