Displacement & MigrationNews

Lake Chad: Persistent Terror Attacks Displace Shoreline Communities

Thousands of individuals have left their communities to seek refuge in safer locations following a series of terror attacks in Sept. in Chad's Lake province.

A series of violent attacks on communities located in Chad’s section of Lake Chad has led to a new wave of displacement consisting of households seeking refuge.

Several incidents were reported on Oct. 7 by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)-Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) “Emergency Tracking Tool”, monitoring movements between Sept. 23 and 29, in four locations in the country’s Lake Province.

The platform reported that on Sept. 23, a total of 220 households of 1,450 individuals moved to Diamerom in the Fouli department.

“On 23 Sept., 2021, on the orders of the authorities, 2220 households of 1,450 individuals left the village of Kangou and the Kousseri Tchoukalia site (sous- prĂ©fecture of Ngouboua, department of Kaya) and moved to the site of Diamerom, located within the sous-prĂ©fecture of Liwa (dĂ©partement of Fouli).”

Following an armed attack on Sept. 24 in the village of Salia, 63 households comprising 208 individuals left their villages in the islands of Lake Chad, sous-prefecture of Liwa in the department of Fouli on Sept. 25 to take refuge in the Boudoukalimba site on the mainland.

The displacement report added that 1,000 households consisting of 4,496 individuals were displaced on Sept. 26 due to an earlier attack on Sept. 19. 

DTM says inhabitants left the surrounding villages of Kilya, Tetewa and Alkalia on the islands of Lake Chad in sous-prefecture of Kangalam, département of Mamdi out of fear, taking refuge in the site of Kalerom on the mainland in sous-prefecture of Baga-Sola, department of Kaya.

“This attack had already led to the displacement of 187 households to the Baga-Sola sub-prefecture on 20 and 21 September 2021,” the report said.

An increase in armed attacks and abductions in the Lake Chad islands forced 203 households of 478 individuals to leave their village in the sous-prefecture of Bol (Mamdi département) on Sept 29, to take refuge on the mainland within the same sous-prefecture.

The DTM earlier reported movements between Sept. 14 and 22 in five sites and two villages in the Lake Province.

DTM stated that due to an increase in armed attacks and abductions in the islands of Lake Chad, 72 households with 158 individuals left their villages as a preventive measure in the sous-prefecture of Kangalom in Mamdi department on Sept. 14, 18 and 20, and took refuge in the Tchigam 2 site, a site located on the mainland in the sous-prefecture of Baga-Sola in Kaya department.

“Additionally 135 households with 996 individuals preventatively left the village of Bouleya in the sous-prĂ©fecture of Liwa (dĂ©partement of Fouli) to take refuge in the Madya site within the same sous-prĂ©fecture, and 23 households of 83 individuals left the Kapirom and Ngachia sites (sous-prĂ©fecture of Ngouboua, dĂ©partement of Kaya) to take refuge in the Dar-Al Amne site (within the sub-prefecture of Baga-Sola, same dĂ©partement).”

The tracker platform also disclosed movement which occurred on Sept. 20 and 21 following an attack on Sept  19 in the village Teresa, that resulted in 599 households consisting of 2,718 individuals leaving their villages on the islands of Lake Chad, sous-préfecture of Kangalom in the department of Mamdi to take refuge in the villages of Blarigui, Bibi Dar Al Amne and Tetewa village, all located on the mainland.

“On 21 Sept. 2021, following orders from the authorities, 62 households of 217 individuals left the village of Kangou and the surrounding villages and relocated to the site Kousserie Tchoukoutalia, located within the same sous-prĂ©fecture in the dĂ©partement of Kaya”. 

Chad is battling threats from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and a sub-faction of Boko Haram, mostly known as the Bakoura Faction. Both groups continue to pose a threat to civilians and security forces in the Lake Province. 

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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