A new humanitarian crisis is emerging in Nigeria’s northwest with the ongoing activities of armed groups referred to locally as ‘bandits’ in six states, namely Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Niger and Kebbi. Attacks have included shooting and killing, cattle rustling, kidnapping, rape, torching of entire villages, and looting of valuables, and the numbers of fatalities and displaced people have continued to rise.
While more than 1,100 people were killed in 2018 in the six states, over 2,200 were killed in 2019, and more than 1,600 fatalities were recorded between January – June 2020. By September 2019, such attacks had internally displaced over 160,000 people and produced more than 41,000 refugees. Displacement numbers now stand at over 247,000 IDPs and some 60,000 refugees.