North-East Nigeria: Situation Update, November 2020

Situation Report
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UNHCR and Ministry built nearly 900 emergency shelters to protect internally displaced people (IDPs) in November.

UNHCR’s Protection, Human Rights and Border Monitoring site visits reached nearly 80,000 IDPs, IDP and refugee returnees in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

UNHCR supported issuing over 4,400 pieces of civil documentation for IDPs, returnees and locals to prevent statelessness.

Operational Highlights

• The security environment in North-East Nigeria remained volatile as a result of violence and insecurity caused by Non-State Armed Groups (NSAG) and counter-insurgency operation by the security forces. In Borno State, security incidents affecting areas where UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency operates, included NSAG gruesome slaughtering of dozens of civilians including IDPs in Jere Local Government Area (LGA) on 29 November, which was condemned by the Humanitarian Coordinator. NSAG also attempted to infiltrate the IDP camps in Dikwa, Banki, Monguno, Damboa, Gwoza, Pulka, Bama, Ngala, Damasak among other locations. Illegal vehicle checkpoints on main supply roads of Maiduguri-Monguno axes and Dikwa-Gamboru/Ngala axes continued to serve for robbery and loot passengers of their money, personal effects and food. On 25 November 2020, in Bindundul village along Gubio-Damasak road NSAG seized petroleum products and carted away with two trailers of food items to Damasak for an international NGO. Abductions, too, continued to pose a threat to civilians, including humanitarians.

• Humanitarian access to Damasak, Mobbar LGA, was further compounded when the UN Humanitarian Air Services suspended their flight on 11 November 2020 following Small Arms Fire between security forces and NSAG.

• An unexploded ordnance was discovered in Wege Extension IDP camp in Pulka, Gwoza LGA during protection monitoring.

• Fires broke out in Monguno, Pulka, Gwoza, Dikwa, Ngala, Rann camps and destroyed the humble belongings of IDPs, increasing their need for shelter, food and non-food items (NFIs).

• Adamawa State continued to see a surge in criminal activities, especially kidnappings and in Yola North and Yola South, while in Yobe State, NSAG attacked and destroyed properties in Buni Gari, Gujba LGA. Although the security forces repelled the attacks, it generated panic and tension among the residents. Herdsmen attacks on farmers were recorded in Goniri and Ngirbuwa return communities in Gujba LGA.

• Cross-border movements: In November, 1,888 individuals (662 families) crossed the Niger, Cameroon and Chad borders into Nigeria, of which 82% (1,548) were Nigerians while 18% (340) were Cameroonians. These cross-border movements were triggered by insecurity in the country of asylum as a result NSAG attacks, fear of attacks or military operation. The Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) in partnership with UNHCR also recorded 390 refugee returnees from 155 households that spontaneously returned to Nigeria:169 individuals from Cameroon, 209 from Niger and 12 from Chad. Damasak saw the largest number of entries, by Banki and Ngala.

• Other movements: These same factors along with the need for family reunification and socio-economic difficulties triggered the displacement of 66 men from Konduga and Baga LGAs in Borno State into the IDP camp in Kukareta, Yobe State. Over 1,700 people in Rann, Kala Balge LGA, mainly women, moved to Cameroon to search for menial jobs to sustain their families.

• The Borno State Government continued to facilitate the return of IDPs to their areas of origin as planned. In November, 500 households were returned to Marte LGA. IDP returnees have fled insecurity in 2014 into the camps of Farm Center, Muna El-Badawee, Madinatu and Bakassi. A few of the IDPs that the government has returned into Ngoshe and Kukawa, Baga LGA, have gone back to Monguno, Teacher Village Camp and Pulka indicating limited access to livelihoods, NFIs and absence of local integration programmes at the places of return as their reasons for this movement.