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COUNTER INSURGENCY, CURATED OSINT, INTELLIGENCE, Nigeria, SECURITY THREATS, TERRORISM

SECURITY THREATS TO THE 2023 ELECTIONS: THREAT ACTORS EVALUATION

In two months’ time, elections are expected to be undertaken across the country; however, the implications of insecurity affecting the integrity of the polls form a fraction of the criticism of the government’s ability to provide a secure environment for the conduct of a peaceful and transparent election. Pockets of disruptive attacks by non-state actors are seen as an unavoidable occurrence given the presence of a diverse range of existing threat actors engaged in political violence across the country. Several security operations remain adequately active, having recorded feats over the past months such as the arrest or neutralization of threat actors, increased aerial interdiction, upgraded arsenals, and most importantly, vibrant intelligence-driven coordination towards arresting criminal activities across the North and South; however, despite these mentioned feats, criminality and all sorts of manifestations of insecurity continue to take a huge toll on the civilian population. One major contributing factor is the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs), which has resulted from illegal and porous national borders manned by a weak border security system heavily impacted by corruption and negligence. This is fueling Nigeria’s security challenges as armed groups have been able to fortify themselves thanks to easy access to illicit firearms. According to Muhammed Akinyemi’s human-angle report titled Nigeria’s Coat of Arms, “With ₦15,000 ($34), you will get a local gun. A single barrel long-range [can be bought] for ₦25,000 ($57).” The proliferation of illicit weapons encourages acts of terror, gradually pushing the population into despondency, and also likely to encourage apathy, the political issues associated with this is looked into in Yusuf Gupa’s Dynamics Of The 2023 Elections. This article looks to discuss some of these security threat actors, their evolution, their strengths, and their impact on the elections in 2023.  Bandits Ragtag bandit groups, which are decentralized, unidentified armed groups generally operating in areas where states have shown an inability to exercise their authority in Nigeria’s northwest and northcentral regions, have contributed considerably to a surge in security threats associated with bandit terror campaigns such as violent assaults on commuters and villages, murder, kidnappings, and skirmishes with security services, the latter of which has triggered heavy kinetic offensives by the military.  For 11 years, banditry has persisted, with civilians bearing the brunt of crimes that have resulted in high fatalities, displacement, and severe economic shocks. The reign of bandits has evolved over time to encompass parallel administrations, in which they manage towns under their control, encouraging tax collection, forced marriages, and combatant recruiting. Bandits’ threat has been sustained during the pre-election season, primarily comprised of kidnapping and small-weapons attacks against political chieftains and election officials, with no clear motive to support or oppose the elections. A typical example of these attacks include; Kaduna Kajuru LGA – Around 1 April 2022, a Kaduna militia abducted seven persons related to the PDP chairman in Kajuru LGA. One abductee was released earlier on health grounds, one was killed after the ransom demands were not met. Chikun LGA – On 22 September 2022, a Kaduna militia attacked some chieftains of the APC, wounded three people, killed two, and abducted others at Tashar Icce near Kujama (Chikun, Kaduna). The victims were coming back from a political meeting in Kujama. Kagarko LGA: On April 25, 2022, a Kaduna militia killed an APC ward chairman and several others when they attacked several communities in Kagarko LGA (Kaduna). Scores of residents were abducted, others were seriously wounded, and some cows and household animals were seized. Kajuru LGA—  Around April 2022 (as reported), members of a Kaduna militia killed one of the seven abductees related to the PDP chairman of Kajuru LGA over the non-payment of ransom. Katsina  Katsina LGA – On 3 September 2022, policemen clashed with a Katsina militia who abducted three people in the Katsina metropolis (Katsina, Katsina). One of the abductees was the candidate for the Kankia zone state house of assembly from the PDP, his wife, and the registrar of Isa Kaita college of education. Niger Mariga LGA – On 25 May 2022, members of a Niger communal militia killed four PDP delegates between Mariga and Tegina (Mariga, Niger) while they were on their way home from Minna. The vehicle the victims were travelling in was shot at by the assailants. Zamfara  Anka LGA – On April 1, 2022, members of a Zamfara militia abducted an unspecified number of commuters, including two APC members, on the Anka-Zuru federal highway in Dajin Daki Takwas, Anka LGA (Zamfara). Nasiru Yari (APC), who was one of the abductees, was released. Bukkuyum LGA – On 29 June 2022, Zamfara militiamen abducted an unspecified number of persons from Gadar Zaima, coded to Bukuyum (Bukkuyum, Zamfara) on the village market day. The abductees include the village head, a political secretary of a political party from Kyaram. Tsafe LGA – On 6 June 2022, Zamfara militiamen abducted a former permanent commissioner of the Zamfara Independent Electoral commission alongside his younger brother at Gidan-Giye, near Tsafe town (Zamfara). The abductees were trying to fix their car which developed a fault. Zurmi LGA – On 28 October 2022, a Zamfara militia led by Gwaska Dankarami simultaneously invaded two residences and abducted two persons in Dauran Birnin Tsaba (Zurmi, Zamfara). The abductees were a district head and an APC chieftain, the militia leader called the abductee’s relative to confirm the abduction which he claimed was a reprisal for the seizure of his motorcycles by security operatives. The majority of the group’s activity has been propelled by various ineffective initiatives in dealing with the situation, which evolved from genuine anti-marginalization agitation to pure terrorism and criminality. The porous environment, on the other hand, over time allowed for the massive proliferation of SALW, which fell into the hands of these groups ushering acts of terror and, in fact, drawing the interest of several other actors, including organized armed groups such as Lakurawa [an armed militia group from Mali] in Sokoto State, armed religious sects such as Dar-Salam scattered in Nassawara, Niger, and

CURATED OSINT, GLOBAL SECURITY, INTELLIGENCE, Reports, SECURITY THREATS

UNENDING INTERCOMMUNAL CONFLICTS IN CAMEROON

Intercommunal disputes first appeared in Cameroon’s Far North in 1992 as tensions arose between communities’ native inhabitants over food, land, and water in the Logone-et-Chari department and have lasted till date. Affected areas include the Musgum, Kotoko, and Arabchoua communes, resulting in the displacement of several individuals to Chad. As a result of the absence of major government initiatives to resolve the crisis, terrorists have thus far benefited from Native animosities. Growing conflicts between herders, farmers, and fishermen in Cameroon’s Far North area culminated in a violent uprising that drove thousands of people from their homes in December 2021. Over 43,000 Cameroonian refugees had been registered by UNHCR by February 2022 in neighboring Chad, where registration is still ongoing, while only over 36,000 individuals were still internally displaced within Cameroon following a clash at Moutouroua in Mayo-Kani department on 9 February 2022 between the Mbororos and local farmers were reported at Titingand another at Kotoko in Logone-et-Chari department on 10 February 2022, between the Arabchouas and the Musgums. These conflicts have been in part caused by the rising effects of Boko Haram terrorists among communities and the circulation of firearms in the hands of former rebels, national army members, and smugglers in these communities. Also, the Lake Chad Basin, which has lost more than 90% of its water surface, is thought to be one of the causes of this conflict. The underserved communities struggle with enormous challenges like endemic poverty, inadequate governmental services, and terrorist attacks. In addition, they experience growing environmental degradation, which increases food insecurity and competition for limited resources. Communal conflicts have also surged in parts of the Littoral and Southwest regions, which could be associated with land disputes within the affected localities. Over the past few weeks, the South West Region’s Akwaya department has seen more than 30 deaths as intercommunal violence has increased dramatically. The crisis started when natives of Oliti village in the Akwaya department allegedly attacked Messaga Ekol village on their farms on April 29, 2022, resulting in at least twenty (20) casualties and inciting Messaga Ekol locals to retaliate. 48 hours of massacre ensued on 25 and 26 June 2022 in the Akwaya department, resulting in 20 fatalities. As a result of the recurrent violence, some churches have reportedly been shut down in the area and several villagers fled into neighboring Nigeria. The South West region is still experiencing instability since the conflict’s underlying causes have not been addressed, and the environment there does not support the voluntary, safe, and dignified return of the displaced populations. Due to the evolving terrorism in the Far North and Southwest, the substantial conflicts within these regions should not be undervalued. The periodic conflicts may represent exploratory efforts to assess and sample border fortifications, unintentionally laying the groundwork for later strategic and organized operations by Boko Haram terrorists and separatist fighters to cause more fatalities in these regions, particularly the Mayo-Kani, Logone-et-Chari, and Manyu departments. In order to satisfy prosecutorial concerns, truth-seeking, normalization of relations, and healing of the impacted communities, transitional justice systems are also worth investigating. It might be possible to reduce the desire for intra- and inter-community retaliation by looking into and prosecuting the alleged assailants of attacks, as well as compensating the victims.

CURATED OSINT

Boko Haram commanders killed as Nigerian troops, MNJTF invade strongholds

The Nigerian troops and Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have invaded four Boko Haram strongholds in Borno on Wednesday. The Operation led by Brig. Gen Waidi Shaibu, Commander of 21 Special Armor Brigade, targeted Boko Haram strongholds in Maiyanki, Darussalam, Bula Kurege and Izza. The camps served as training grounds for the terrorists and hideouts […]

Boko Haram commanders killed as Nigerian troops, MNJTF invade strongholds

CURATED OSINT

DHQ clears air on Boko Haram attack at military base

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has denied media reports that Boko Haram terrorists overran a military base in Marte Local Government Area (LGA), of Borno between Jan. 15 and Jan. 16. Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations, said this on Thursday while giving an update on military operations in the last one week. There were […]

DHQ clears air on Boko Haram attack at military base

CURATED OSINT

Boko Haram: Western Nations Have Shown Us More Concerns Than Arab countries – Borno Governor

Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State, says western countries have shown more concerns and supported the state more than the Arab countries. Zulum stated this Tuesday evening in Maiduguri, the state capital when he received the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Saleh Fheied Saleh in his office. “In the midst of challenges with the Boko Haram …

The post Boko Haram: Western Nations Have Shown Us More Concerns Than Arab countries – Borno Governor appeared first on HumAngle.

CURATED OSINT

Troops kill Boko Haram, ISWAP terrorists after attack on civilians in Borno

Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole engaged Boko Haram and Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists on Wednesday. The insurgents had waylaid commuters between Gajiram and Monguno in Borno State. They attacked commuters with about 7 gun trucks around the Ari Gamboru and Gasarwa axis along Monguno. The ambush which occurred at about 1pm […]

Troops kill Boko Haram, ISWAP terrorists after attack on civilians in Borno

CURATED OSINT

Borno governor says there are white men, Asians, Christians among Boko Haram sponsors

Zulum said, “I’m from Borno State, and many of our children are into Boko Haram. I’m not denying the fact. But again, they are being sponsored by many people across the world. Among Boko Haram, we have white men, Asians, Africans, Muslims and Christians.”

The post Borno governor says there are white men, Asians, Christians among Boko Haram sponsors appeared first on TODAY.

CURATED OSINT

Chibok pastor abducted by Boko Haram sends SOS to Buhari, says “but if this is how my life will end, I thank God”

Pastor Bulus Yakure, a Christian cleric abducted by Boko Haram alongside six others on Christmas eve, has begged President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State and church leaders to rescue him from the terrorists. At least seven people were killed in a Boko Haram attack on the majority-Christian village of Pemi, Borno state […]

The post Chibok pastor abducted by Boko Haram sends SOS to Buhari, says “but if this is how my life will end, I thank God” appeared first on Daily Nigerian.

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