Armed ViolenceNews

Insurgents Attack Borno IDP Resettlement Site, Kill Security Agent

Resettled IDPs in the community have become nervous, fearing for their lives because of the attacks, and are calling on the government to protect them.

Boko Haram terrorists on Monday, Dec. 11, attacked a community in Jere, an area in Borno, northeastern Nigeria, that is occupied mainly by internally displaced people who were resettled from neighbouring Maiduguri. 

HumAngle gathered that one member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) was killed while a soldier was injured. The CJTF is a militia supporting Nigeria’s armed forces to tackle the insurgency with backing from the government.

Narrating the incident, an IDP who resides in the area said they heard gunshots around 10 p.m. and the attack lasted for over an hour before military personnel from the Maimalari Barracks arrived on the scene.

“One CJTF official was returning home. They saw him, identifying him through his uniform trousers, so he started running. They shot him there,” said Babagana, who asked that his identity be protected because of his prominence in the area and the sensitivity of the issue.

The insurgents shot indiscriminately, deflated the tyres of some vehicles (including a large truck headed towards Gamboru), looted about three shops, and went away with several motorcycles. Two days later, the military were seen to have recovered four of the motorcycles.

Babagana told HumAngle that some witnesses reported the assailants numbered up to 60.

One man who was sleeping in the cargo truck said they opened the door, but he was lucky they did not see him. “They punched seven of the vehicle’s tyres. They left at 11:30 p.m.,” he recalled.

He shared a recording of the relentless gunfire that lasted nearly five minutes. In the audio clip, one could also hear the sound of air rushing out of the truck’s tyres as they punctured them.

Babagana said there have been other attacks in the past. One in 2021, a second last year, and another one in August.

“Two years ago, they came on motorcycles through Mafa road. They dressed like women. It was like this attack. They always go where the military personnel are. There were times they looted and even set fire to the shops. But now they didn’t set fire. Three shops were looted yesterday, but the other time they came, they were up to 10. They looted things from the shops and went with some motorcycles and some cars.” 

In one of those attacks that happened earlier in the day, six people lost their lives while caught in the gunfight between the military and the insurgents as they scampered for safety.

“That’s why some people left Shuwari and came to town,” Babagana said.

When HumAngle reached out to ASP Nahum Daso Kenneth, spokesperson for the Borno Police Command, with an enquiry about the details of the attack, he promised to get back to us but has yet to.

The government in Borno has shut down many camps in the capital, Maiduguri, and relocated over 153,000 IDPs across the state, including to housing settlements like the one in Shuwari. But many of the resettled people have returned to informal camps and host communities around Maiduguri, complaining of the lack of security in their ancestral communities and other places they were sent off to. Many IDPs have reported getting attacked or abducted by Boko Haram terrorists whenever they ventured into the bush to farm or fetch firewood. The lack of safety has made survival difficult for them, considering that the state government has also stopped non-governmental organisations from providing steady humanitarian assistance to the camps.

Babagana said the resettled IDPs in Shuwari have become nervous, fearing for their lives because of the attacks.

“There is no food. And now, this is the challenge of security. People have forgotten about their stomachs and are now worried about security. They are telling people they will take them back, but nothing has been done for them. The security situation is bad after the resettlement. The government should help us.”

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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