By Seun Adeuyi
It has been reported that between January and November 2020, there were 142 attacks from the Boko Haram insurgency in North East Nigeria in an average of 13 month, which claimed at least 1,606 lives from 125 fatal incidents, according to the Chart of The Week report of SBM Intelligence.
The organisation reported “Between January and November 2020, there were 142 incidents in the #BokoHaram insurgency in NE #Nigeria, an average of 13 a month. At least 1,606 people were killed in the 125 fatal incidents, an average of 13 per incident. Between January and November 2020, there were 142 incidents in the #BokoHaram insurgency in NE #Nigeria, an average of 13 a month. At least 1,606 people were killed in the 125 fatal incidents, an average of 13 per incident”.
The year 2020 will is the 12th year since the Boko Haram terrorism conflict took a dangerous dimension in northeastern part of Nigeria.
Since 2009, the Boko Haram and its splinter faction, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), and the government’s military response have killed tens of thousands of civilians and displaced millions across the Lake Chad region, which straddles Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
The insurgents have continued to attack civilian, humanitarian, and military targets this year. Between January and November 2020, there were 142 incidents in the BokoHaram insurgency in the North East, an average of 13 a month. At least 1,606 people were killed in the 125 fatal incidents, an average of 13 per incident. It is increasingly difficult to protect civilians, even in government-controlled areas.
The insurgents reportedly killed at least 70 civilians last weekend, many of them farmers working on a rice field. According to media reports, the attackers tied up many of the victims before slitting their throats. This latest gruesome attack took place in the Jere Local Government Area (LGA) of the Borno state.
The United Nations (UN), while describing the incident as the most violent direct attack against civilians this year, called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
In June, three rocket-propelled explosives fired from outside Maiduguri killed four people and injured three others in the city, an area previously considered relatively safe given the strong Nigerian army presence.
Despite ongoing safety concerns, authorities in Borno state announced plans in August to encourage nearly two million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Maiduguri and other areas to return to their communities.
Sixteen days after IDPs were returned to Kukawa Local Government Area (LGA) on August 18, Boko Haram insurgents attacked the community and abducted at least 100 people. Boko Haram also launched a deadly attack against Borno state governor Babagana Zulum’s convoy on September 27, as he returned from escorting the IDPs for resettlement. While the governor survived, at least 18 people, including four civilians, were killed. The attack came two days after the governor survived another attack while traveling near Lake Chad, and a previous ambush by insurgents in July.
The continuous attacks against civilians in the northeast have led to calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to dismiss his service chiefs and put in place a more effective security structure.
Nigerians have called on President Buhari to prioritize security and civilian protection, and also stop forcing people to return to areas where they risk further harm.
However, Borno state governor, Prof. Zulum alleged that the military is behind the recent attack on his convoy and civilians, stressing that they will continue to benefit from the anti-terrosism war as long as the people remain at the IDP camps.