I. OPERATIONAL CONTEXT
During the months of November and December 2021, the operational context in the BAY States remained volatile with continuous attacks by Non-State Armed Groups (NSAG) impacting on Humanitarian environment. Intercommunal violence between the Arab Shoa (grazers) and the Mousgum and Massa tribes (fishermen) in various communities in the Logone Birni district in Logone-et-Chari Division in Cameroun’s Far North Region has displaced no fewer than 100, 000 Cameroonians into the neighbouring Chad. The conflict has resulted in several Nigerians refugees in the area to return to insecure places such as Rann and Ngala in Borno State. Incidents of fire outbreaks continued to be recorded leading to loss of lives, properties, and food of PoCs amidst COVID 19. On a positive note,
UNHCR and partners commemorated Annulal Global Campaing of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence across the BAY states. With the theme“Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!” In Borno State, the months under review continued to witness incidents of attacks, killings, abductions, and attempted infiltrations by NSAG in Bama, Gwoza, Pulka, Banki, Monguno, Rann, Dikwa, Ngala, Damboa among other locations. There were reports of ambushes and illegal vehicular check points along Damasak – Maiduguri, Monguno – Gajiram and Damaturu-Maiduguri roads.
Passengers’ identification cards were confiscated and were robbed of money and other valuables before being allowed to proceed with their journeys. In November, a case of offloading and burning of nutrition relief supplies (RUTF) cargo1 was reported along the Damasak – Gubio road. These incidents continued to instil fears and impacted freedom of movement of PoCs, limited access to farms in many return areas hence perpetuating dependence on humanitarian aid. For instance, In December alone, records indicated that there were 38 security incidents reported by UNDSS comprising of Armed attacks (22), Illegal vehicle check points (1), Abduction of Civilians (6), Crime (5) and due to other hazards, mostly fire outbreaks as reported severally from Monguno (2).
Most of the Incidents reported were in Borno (25) while Adamawa and Yobe states recorded 8 and 5 respectively. 88 civilians were affected in the incidents. Fire incidents were also recorded in camps in Monguno, Damasak, Ngala, Rann, Dikwa and Muna garage resulting in loss of lives of IDPs, destruction of shelters, properties, and food and exposing the affected populations to further hardship and heightened protection risks. In November, the trend observed over many months with the surrender of NSAG members continued in Gwoza, Dikwa, Ngala, Bama, Pulka and other locations. These surrenders have provided opportunity for those held captives in villages in the aforementioned LGAs to escape into camps and host communities. Information gathered revealed that NSAGs have sworn not to allow returns in the following areas/LGAs of Baga Town, Doro Baga, Cross Kauwa, Mallam Fatori, Gajiram and Monguno LGAs2 . The government-led camp closures in Maiduguri Metropolis continued with Bakassi and Teachers Village Centre camps effectively closed in November and December respectively. Plans were underway to close Stadium camp in the coming weeks. The period also witnessed cases of POCs who have been returned to the LGAs coming back to Maiduguri and its environs. Movements into other over-congested camps in the LGAs were also recorded. Many vulnerable homeless families and communities helplessly loiter in the streets in search of fixed abode and have pitched makeshift structures in the vicinity of Maiduguri metropolis. This has seen a sharp rise in the proliferation of informal settlements in and around MMC and Jere. It is a worrying trend that even as Borno State authorities forge ahead with their camp closure strategy, informal settlements are mushrooming and urban IDPs are an emerging phenomenon.
In Adamawa State, NSAG attacked farmers who were farming in Gublah Madagali LGA. It was alleged that some farmers were abducted, though Security Forces (SF) foiled the attempt and rescued 3 of the abductees. Furthermore, NSAG also attacked Kafin Hausa under Hymbula ward, Madagali where they abducted some girls from the community and with the intervention of SF, they were forced to abandon these girls thereby leading to their escape3 . These attacks continued in in Hymbula Ward, Michika LGA on the 13th and 14th December 2021 where 4 PoCs were killed in the attack. This incessant attacks and abductions in return communities continued to instil fear on returnees and host community members impacting on freedom of movement in these locations. In November, 46 IDPs were affected alongside members of the host communities of Yolde Pate, Malkohi Village, Saminaka, Sangere Bode, Sabon Pegi and Ngurore of Yola South LGAs when herdsmen were alleged to have invaded farmlands and destroyed crops resulting in loss of livelihood, exacerbating food insecurity and causing tensions in the communities with regards to safety and security. Additionally, 7 persons were reported killed, and several persons injured by armed gunmen suspected to be herdsmen at Negga community, Bolki Ward in Numan LGA further fuelling tensions in the community. The Adamawa State House of Assembly has prioritized addressing the frequent invasions and attacks perpetrated by herdsmen for deliberation under “Urgent Public Interest Matters”. Ndula settlement, in Gurin ward of Fufore LGA, was also attacked by unknown armed men causing injuries to 6 Refugees Returnees at the settlement and the theft of farm produce and loss of other valuables such as phones. It was reported that quick action by the police resulted in the arrest of one of the suspects. It is reassuring to note that the police are engaged in maintaining law and order as this will go along way in deterring others from committing such crimes. Even though Borno State remains the epicenter of the crisis, the other two BAY states Adamawa and Yobe states are also bearing the brunt on the population movements as a result of the government-led camp closures in Borno state. This was reported by a government representative during an Inter-Agency Camp Decommissioning Contact Committee Consultative meeting.