Indiscriminate violence in the Niger Delta

Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, Rivers
COMMON ANALYSIS
Last updated: June 2019

The year 2009, when the DDR was introduced, was a turning point for the conflict between militant groups in the Niger Delta and the Nigerian security forces and led to a decrease in the resort to violence in the area.

Presence of actors in the conflict

The main actors in the conflict are the JTF, NPF and NDA. Military forces continue to operate in the area as part of joint security operations and exercises. However, recent reports of incidents in the region primarily refer to communal clashes.

Nature of methods and tactics used by the actors in the conflict

Reported incidents mention communal clashes, such as clashes in the context of disputes over land and other natural resources. Limited incidents of indiscriminate violence are reported to be directly linked to the activities of NDA or the Nigerian authorities. Although militant groups perpetrate violent acts, those usually involve targeting infrastructure and do not result in harm to individuals.

Frequency of incidents and geographical scope

The following incidents of ‘violence against civilians’ and ‘remote violence’ were reported by ACLED in the region during the period 1 October 2017 – 31 September 2018:

■ Abia: 0.1 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ and 0.04 incident of ‘remote violence’ per week were reported in the state;

■ Akwa Ibom: 0.2 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;

■ Bayelsa: 0.3 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;

■ Cross River: 0.2 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;

■ Delta: 0.5 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence in relation to armed groups of herders and farmers. The number of incidents reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict.

■ Edo: 0.3 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported in the state; there were no incidents of ‘remote violence’. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence in relation to armed groups of herders and farmers. The number of incidents reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict.

■ Imo: 0.08 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;

■ Ondo: 0.3 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ per week was reported; there were no reports of incidents of ‘remote violence’;

■ Rivers: 0.3 incident of ‘violence against civilians’ and 0.02 incident of ‘remote violence’ per week were reported in the state;

The following map illustrates the incidents which were recorded by ACLED during the reporting period under ‘remote violence’ and ‘violence against civilians’. Each circle indicates a location where one or more incidents took place. The size of the circle reflects the number of incidents recorded in the respective location. The circles are comparable within the map and not with other maps within this document.

Figure 15. EASO, Visualisation of ACLED data - Incidents of ‘violence against civilians’ and ‘remote violence’ in the states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers (1 Oct 2017 - 30 Sep 2018).

 

Civilian casualties

The reported fatalities in the period 1 October 2017 – 30 September 2018 included:

■ Abia: 0.5 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Akwa Ibom: 0.3 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Bayelsa: 0.9 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Cross River: 0.7 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Delta: 0.5 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state; However, this state is also affected by the violence in relation to armed groups of herders and farmers. The number of fatalities reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict.

■ Edo: 0.3 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state. It should be noted that this state is also affected by the violence in relation to armed groups of herders and farmers. The number of fatalities reported is not desegregated by actor/conflict.

■ Imo: 0.06 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Ondo: 0.2 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

■ Rivers: 0.7 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants related to ‘violence against civilians’ and no fatalities related to ‘remote violence’ were reported in the state;

Displacement

The region has recorded a few incidents resulting in significant displacement, in particular due to communal clashes. For example, 14 000 people were displaced in the LGA of Yala, Cross River state. In general, the region does not have a significant number of IDPs.

In addition, it is reported that the law enforcement agencies continue to be unable to prevent communal violence in the region. As a result, military forces continue to operate as part of joint security operations and exercises, and youth from the communities in the Niger Delta is recruited and trained for surveillance of oil pipelines.

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Looking at the indicators, it can be concluded that in the states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers, indiscriminate violence is taking place at such a low level, that in general there is no real risk for a civilian to be personally affected by reason of indiscriminate violence in the meaning of Article 15(c) QD. However, individual elements always need to be taken into account as they could put the applicant in risk-enhancing situations.
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