Armed ViolenceNews

Amid Rising Insecurity, Zamfara Gov’t Asks IDPs To Return Home

While the government assured the displaced persons of its renewed commitment to having peaceful dialogue with terrorists, residents said reconciliation with the armed groups is not assurance of safety.

The Zamfara Government has ordered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in terrorised communities of the state to return to their home following an agreement reached between terrorists and leaders of various commnuties.

The order was issued on Wednesday, Aug. 3, during a visit by Deputy Governor Hasan Muhammad Nasiha to Anka, Bukuyum, and Gummi Emirate Councils of the state.

Nasiha explained that the government has succeeded in having a dialogue with leaders of various terror gangs and they have agreed to coexist peacefully with residents from affected areas.  

The agreements reached include “to permanently cease fire against residents, disarmament of the vigilantes groups and revoking all licences to hold guns granted to residents of the state”.

“From today henceforth, every IDP should return home within the period of one to two weeks and resume normal life,” he said. 

Nasiha said they also agreed that all traditional rulers would surrender all farmlands, cattle routes, streams and settlements belonging to Fulani ethnic clans.

Some displaced residents, however, told HumAngle that reconciliation with the armed groups is not an assurance of safety. They argued that the move to return IDPs to their homes is dangerous. 

Alhaji Bala, a resident of Gasahula said, “How can we return to our respective villages when we know that the armed marauders are still there in our villages?”

Another displaced resident from Gadar-Zaima in Bukuyum said his community have had a series of reconciliations with the armed groups yet still witness repeated attacks. “They [terrorists] are not to be trusted,” the source who spoke under anonymity said. 

While some state governments are going ahead with plans to disperse persons in IDP camps and claim repeated victory on the fight against terrorism, more Nigerians are being killed by terrorists. 

The frequency and magnitude of recent attacks by insurgent groups suggest these camps are still needed.

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