NORTHERN NIGERIA INTERNAL SECURITY SITREP- Week Ending 5 April 2014

Situation Friendly Forces:

30 March:

  • A suspected insurgent arrested driving towards MAIDUGURI from ALAGARNO, led to the seizure of 15 AK 47s and 12 magazines and an unspecified number of disassembled rifles
  • Elements of 1 Division have arrested 18 suspected nomadic gunmen in LADUGA Village, KACHIA LGA, KADUNA State. The gunmen were allegedly about to attack villages in the KACHIA and KAURA LGA. Several rifles were recovered.
  • Continuing air supported ground attacks by 103 Battalion Nigeria Army forces in SAMBISA Forest have resulted in 35 enemy captured and an unspecified number killed and wounded

31 March:

  • Members of the Political Elders Forum from BORNO and YOBE State allege that helicopters were being used to supply insurgent camps. The allegations were made by Air Vice Marshall (retired) Al-Amin DAGASH (former Chief of Air Staff), with Mallam Adamu CIROMA (former Secretary to the Government of the Federation), Ambassador Babagana KIGIBE, Shetima MUSTAPHA and others. He also questioned the circumstances surrounding the GIwa Barracks and MAIDUGURI Airport attack.
  • Gabriel SUSWAM Governor of  BENUE State stated that the gunmen attacking communities in BENUE State are insurgents disguised as Fulani herdsmen
  • The Nigerian Army has launched a major internal security operation in BENUE, NASSARAWA and PLATEAU States supported by the Nigeria Air Force and Nigeria Police Force to capture and neutralise all criminal elements and their bases.
  • Civilians living around GIWA Barracks, evacuated their homes due to rumours that Boko Haram was about to attack again
  • A Victim operated IED reportedly targeted at vehicles discovered by locals on the outskirts of JAKANA Village, KAGA LGA, BORNO State was neutralised by the Police bomb squad

01 April: The Hausa Community in BENUE State donated food items to IDPs in MAKURDI via the State Emergency Management Agency

02 April:

  • Elements of the Nigerian Army deployed to BENUE State engaged nomadic gunmen in the vicinity of TORKULA Village, supported by NAF helicopters, 2 soldiers were reported killed
  • NEMA states it is facing difficulties in getting the 250,000 IDP’s in the North East to return home

03 April:

  • Motorised Nigerian forces attacked nomadic gunmen’s camps in the vicinity of MARARABAN GIZA, KEANA LGA, NASARAWA State killing up to 30 insurgents
  • Mobgal Fulbe Development Association has complained about a raid on the LADDUGA Grazing Area, KACHIA LGA, KADUNA State stating 20 people were arrested and others harassed by security personnel
  • Defence HQ stated that troops deployed to BENUE State under Operation Restore Peace had restored normalcy to GUMA, GWER-WEST and AGATU LGA and destroyed insurgent camps in SHENDAM and SHIMANKER of PLATEAU State recovering 2 AK47s. Camps were also destroyed in LADDUGA near KACHIA, KADUNA State and other camps were destroyed and arms recovered in MAIGUNGUME Hills, NIGER State.  Operations were under the direct command of the Divisional Commanders
  • NEMA states it has established 11 camps for 100,000 IDP’s from the 8 troubled LGA’s in BENUE State
  • 22 nomads were captured with unspecified weapons in the vicinity of KAFANCHAN, KADUNA State
  • Fulani herdsmen under Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and Tiv farmers under BENUE Peace Building and Reconciliation met and resolved to end the crisis peacefully at Government House, MAKURDI, releasing a joint communiqué witnessed by the Peace and Security Committee of the Police

04 April:

  • The Federal High Court, ABUJA has rejected an application by the Prosecution to carry out the trial of Dr Mohammed YUNUS, Musa UMAR and Salami ABDULLAHI for terrorism charges in secret. The judge Justice Gabriel KOLAWALE ordered that a cubicle be built around to witness box to protect the identity of witnesses.
  • Local media reports that security sources are reportedly investigating politicians who have been paying protection money to insurgents to protect their families, properties and businesses. 3 people had allegedly been confronted with evidence of payments, however no prosecution or investigation has been mooted
  • Defence HQ has promised to investigate Amnesty International’s allegation that 1,500 people had been killed by Boko Haram and the Security Forces in the 3 months of 2014
  • Troops tasked to Operation Restore Peace killed 10 insurgents and recovered 5 AK 47s whilst on patrol in the vicinity of BAURE and TUNGA, AWE LGA, NASARAWA State.
  • Alhaji Haruna Boro HUSSAINI, Chairman of The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, PLTEAU State alleged that soldiers had attacked and burnt down 37 Fulani settlements in GANWURI District, RIYOM LGA, PLATEAU State and looted 137 cows and 60 sheep. He also alleged some Birom settlements were attacked leading to the death of one person. The STF Media and Information Officer Captain Ikedichi IWEHA denied the allegation.

05 April:

  • The National Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (Fulani Cattle Breeders Association) Alhaji Sale Bayari has asked the police to set up an Anti Cattle Rustling Unit to arrest cattle theft in the country.
  • Leaders of the Tiv Taraba Cultural Social Association, Jukun Youth Cultural Development Association, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (for the Fulani) and Hausa community in WUKARI, IBI, DONGA and TAKUM LGAs of TARABA State signed a peace agreement to end the violence and foster development, the agreement was witnesses by Senior Police officers of TARABA Command

Situation Enemy Forces

30 March:

  • Approximately 200 people have reportedly been killed by an unidentified poisonous substance during attacks by nomadic gunmen. 10 were reported killed in SENGEV Community, GWER WEST LGA, BENUE State, leading to speculation about the use of chemical or biological agents by insurgents, Special Adviser (Media) to BENUE State Governor SUSWAM, Dr Cletus AKWAYA stated that the State Commissioner for Health had been directed to ensure autopsies were performed on the victims
  • Suspected nomadic gunmen attacked OLEGAJE, OGUMOGBO, EJUMA and OGBAGAJI Villages in AGATU LGA, BENUE State with small arms and bladed weapons killing 19 people and abducting 15.
  • Prisoners detained in the Headquarters of the Directorate of State Security (DSS), ASO DRIVE, ABUJA, attempted to escape around 7.15am. a prisoner reportedly attacked and disarmed a guard who went to feed them. The prisoners reportedly seized 3 Tavor rifles and despite a 6 hour long negotiation, security forces were compelled to recover the facility by force. over 37 reportedly escaped of whom 16 were rearrested and 18 killed. 3 prisoners later died of their injuries and 8 remained and did not attempt to escape, 2 DSS operators were wounded. The area was cordoned off by a combined effort from the DSS, NAF and Guards Brigade supported by helicopters.
  • Gunmen attacked a military checkpoint in NGELZARMA Community, FUNE LGA, YOBE State at 6.00pm with small arms, they were repelled after a firefight. Casualties on both sides are unknown.

01 April:

  • Insurgents attacked a checkpoint at MULAJ with 4 VBIEDs by ramming two of the patrol vehicles on MAIDUGURI-DAMBOA Road allegedly attempted to attack the NNPC Facility, they were engaged by the soldiers before detonating. The 6 occupants and 15 civilians were killed, 5 soldiers and 17 civilians were wounded
  • A truck carrying cattle for sale was attacked by unknown assailants in KWAYAWA Village, BENUE State killing 5 traders and 3 missing
  • Several hundred nomadic gunmen dress in military style outfits attacked GBISE Village, KATSINA-ALA LGA, BENUE State in two waves killing 7 people and burning the market and shops and then moved on to TOR-DONGA

02 April:

  • Insurgents’ murdered 4 people in YASKU Village, KAGA LGA, BORNO State and warned locals not to bury the bodies
  • Nomadic gunmen attacked VINGIR and GAWA Villages in KATSINA-ALA LGA, NASARAWA State killing over 100 people

03 April:

  • Local citizens in AUNO, JAKANA, MAINOK, BENISHEIK and other local villages report thst there has been increased forcible conscription of men under the age of 40 by Boko Haram. They have also warned people not to go to farms.
  • Insurgents mounted on motorcycles attacked MAITSABA and BIRNIN-TSAB Villages, ZURMI LGA, ZAMFARA State with small arms and petrol bombs, killing 14 people in MAITSABA and 8 in BIRNIN TSABA and burning down over 50 houses.
  • Local residents allege soldiers attacked Fulani settlements in the vicinity of MARARABAN GIZA Community, KEANA Town, KEANA LGA, NASARAWA State killing 30 people

05 April:

  • Insurgent activity cut the MAIDUGURI-BIU Road.  7 travellers were killing an unknown number injured. The Insurgents then briefly occupied GWARGUBE where locals were gathered together and threatened
  • Gunmen numbering in the tens attacked BUNI YADI, GUJBA LGA, BORNO State, killing at least 10 people and burning over 100 houses
  • Gunmen have attacked a Mosque in BUNI GARI Village, YOBE State with small arms just before first prayers killing 20 people and injuring 22. Buildings were also burnt down
  • Nomadic gunmen on motorcycles attacked a local Vigilantes security meeting in YAR GALADIMA, MARU LGA, ZAMFARA State around 3.30pm with small arms reportedly killing at least 79 people and wounding an unspecified amount and burning several buildings

Situation External Forces

01 April Camerounian security services seized 288 rifles, 35 RPGs and 35 IEDs from Boko Haram insurgents after a firefight at ABUGASSE near the Chadian border. They also recovered pistols, mortar bombs, sub machine guns and an unspecified amount of ammunition of various calibres. 50 Camerounian passports and a Toyota jeep were also seized.

03 April: Cameroonian media reports that over 200 young Kanuri people in the KOLOFATA Area have been recruited by Boko Haram since February, using a mixture of money, persuasion and coercion

04 April: gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram robbed a Christian Parish and abducted 2 Italian (Giampolo MARTA and Gianantonio ALLEGRI) priests and a Canadian nun (Gilberte BUSSIER) from TCHERE, northern CAMEROUN.

05 April: A report by the BRUSSELS based think tank International Crisis Group suggests SHEKAU has little daily control of Boko Haram

Statistics

Table 4 Insurgent incidents

Insurgent Incidents

 

IED Vehicle IED Suicide IED Small Arms Small arms+IED Other wpns Theft Kidnapping
(1) =1 =1 12 0 1 0 2

 

Analysis:

This week has seen an upsurge in violence with moves and counter moves by friendly and enemy forces. Unfortunately it seems that someone is taking the adage of insurgency/ counter insurgency being a battle for the people literally, as innocent peaceful civilians are being slaughtered in such alarming numbers that a daily death toll in the hundreds no longer elicits surprise.

The campaign has again taken one of its unusual turns with 3 distinctive new trends

IEDS: Boko Haram has attempted to use IEDs to attack strategic targets and also target routine patrols, in the reported cases these efforts have been unsuccessful. What however is pertinent is not just the lack of success but the reduced use of small hand held devices in attacks. This could indicate that Boko Haram is currently experiencing supply difficulties or bomb makers have been killed or captured or driven from their workshops.

Cameroun: A combination of pressure and attrition has left Boko Haram much weakened and scattered with the majority of their attacks in Borno and Yobe State, however the efficacy of friendly efforts can be seen in the effect on Northern Cameroun. As discussed in earlier posts Cameroun is the most vulnerable of all the Lake Chad states to Boko Haram and this is coming to fruition. Cameroun has the unenviable position of having to now expend blood and treasure solving a problem that is not of their making on a battleground not of their choosing. The conundrum they face is that the more they push against Boko Haram the more likely that Boko Haram will increase attacks in Cameroun. Camerouns’s Extreme Nord Region is much more sparsely populated and politically isolated than North East Nigeria. The extent of Boko Haram penetration is unknown but one will presume it is high. Unfortunately it appears Cameroun is copying Nigeria’s mistake of reacting piecemeal to the crisis, whilst wishing it will just go away. As Nigeria is finally doing now Cameroun will have to exert maximum effort and would be advised to deploy all uncommitted military and security elements to Northern Cameroun in order to destroy Boko Haram before they take root even further

The Fulani: whilst Boko Haram is under pressure it is still undefeated and fairly capable. Attacks in the North west could lead one to surmise that the enemy has finally achieved the ability to attack across Northern Nigeria at will however the enemy is not monolithic. Whilst calling the gunmen attacking across the Middle Belt and beyond Fulani might be anthropologically correct, it somewhat masks their origins as these could be Fulani from anywhere in West Africa and using the term Fulani can lead to the misinterpretation that this conflict is the normal nomad/ settler conflict which it obviously isn’t

The attacks in the centre and north west although similar to Boko Harams in savagery and targeting, appear to involve a completely different set of forces. Whether their motivations are pecuniary, sectarian, tribal or sectarian they are another unknown unknown thrown into the mix for the Nigerian General Staff to worry about. It is thus imperative that these forces are not only destroyed but those captured tried as soon as possible, their origins should be made clear.

The overall strategic intent of the enemy is still difficult to discern, in order to achieve any measure of victory they need to be in a position to impose their political terms on the country. To do this they either need to hold territory which they can defend and rule demonstrating their preferred system of government or create such chaos that the pressure and cost of security operations, looking after IDPs, increasing casualties and general insecurity forces the Federal Government to concede terms in return for a level of peace and normalcy.

The latter outcome conforms to the current spread of violence but in order to negotiate, Boko Haram would need a political or ideological wing or at least a credible representative of the armed wing who can enter into negotiations. Boko Haram has nothing of the kind begging the question, if Boko Haram were to in tomorrow what exactly would they do with their victory beyond banning ‘western education, dancing and music’?

This unfortunate and completely unhinged insurgency is thus still impervious to conventional COIN solutions of a political/ social outcome derived through military means.

Unfortunately the insurgency in the North East can only be defeated militarily and as the inflow of fresh battalions shows the Federal Government seems to be finally realising this

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About peccavi

A Nigerian with interests in defence, security, geopolitics, the military particularly small unit tactics, COIN, stabilisation and asymmetric warfare
This entry was posted in Counter insurgency, Defence, Nigeria Defence, Nigeria Strategy, Peace support, Peacekeeping, Stabilisation, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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