MS Risk Blog

At Least 3,000 People Killed In Nigeria Over Past Year

Posted on in Uncategorized title_rule

According to a new report, Boko Haram’s reign of terror in the northern regions of Nigeria has forced nearly 800 people to flee the area on a daily basis, with over 3,000 people killed in the last year alone.

A new report issued by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) has indicated that a total of 3.3 million Nigerians have now been driven from their homes as a result of Boko Haram attacks, however there are fears that the group’s relentless attacks on civilians, including the high-profile kidnapping of over 200 school girls in April, could have implications for the wider region, as West Africa’s wider security is increasingly becoming at risk.  This has been reflected by Alfredo Zamudio, director of IDMC, who has stated “the group is growing in its ambition, capability and reach, creating fears that it will become a regional destabilising force, on par with Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa, “ adding “as the government struggles to contain the group’s southward spread towards Abuja, questions for the future of regional stability have been raised, which have weakened Nigeria’s relations with Cameroon, Niger and Chad.”   The local economy has also been affected by the violence, which could have devastating consequences in the next few months.  Over 60 per cent of farmers in the northern region of the country were displaced just before the start of the planting season.  This has sparked worries of severe food insecurity and escalating food prices.

Despite Nigeria’s on going counterinsurgency operations, and the imposition of a state of emergency in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe by the Nigerian government in May 2013, Boko Haram attacks have escalated in frequency and impact over the past year.  According to figures from the United Nations, at least 3,000 people have been killed since the state of emergency was imposed while at least 250,000 people have fled their homes over the same period.

The latest figures come just days after hundreds of people are suspected to have been killed in new Boko Haram attacks that were carried out in the north-eastern region of the country on Tuesday.  According to residents, gunmen laid siege to four villages, razing homes, churches and mosques, and killing many.

Meanwhile Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague will host a meeting of African and Western officials in London next week.  According to his office, the meeting will be aimed at increasing international efforts to defeat Boko Haram.  The 12 June meeting will be attended by the Nigerian foreign minister and representatives from neighbouring African countries, including Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.  Officials from Canada, Britain, France, the United States and the European Union will also be present.  A statement released by the Foreign Office indicated “the meeting will consider what can be more done both to improve regional coordination, and on economic and social development to counter the threat of Boko Haram.”  A statement released by Mr Hague’s office stated, “the London Ministerial on Security in Northern Nigeria will…consider further options to combat terrorism.  This shows the determination of those in the region, with the support of the international community, to defeat Boko Haram.”