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Report: Nigeria’s number of IDPs rivals that of countries at war

Report: Nigeria’s number of IDPs rivals that of countries at war
February 26
12:37 2021

A new report by SBM Intelligence, Nigeria’s geopolitical intelligence platform, says the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Nigeria is almost the same with countries that are officially at war.

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The organisation said it conducted a study on how the proliferation of small arms in the country is linked with mass atrocities and mass migration.

The intelligence gathering group also said a toxic mix of small arms proliferation, youth under/unemployment and general disaffection is likely to drive future agitations in Nigeria.

“The proliferation of small arms and light weapons has driven the rise in violence in Nigeria. This violence has led to mass displacement, and has resulted in Nigeria having a number of internally displaced people that rivals countries which are officially at war. Over the course of a year between May 2019 and April 2020,” the report said.

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“The proliferation of arms in Southern Nigeria has driven the increasing rate of violence in the region. This includes, but is not limited to; communal clashes, cultism (Nigerian speak for gang violence), kidnappings, ethnic and religious clashes, and militancy in the Niger Delta.

“A combination of proliferation of small weapons, already existing state corruption, large tracts of ungoverned spaces, and mass unemployment has largely been responsible for the rising criminality and violence in Northern Nigeria. In the Northern Central region, there have been tensions between sedentary farmers and nomadic Fulani herders who are increasingly moving southwards due to climate change pressures to access pastureland.

“The drivers of mass displacement include, generalised violence, violations of human rights, high rate of insecurity, mostly in the Northern part of the country; Boko Haram attacks, the continuous Fulani herdsmen and Farmers crisis which has spread across the six geopolitical zones in the country.

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“SBM Intelligence also confirmed other reasons for the extremely high numbers of IDPs in Nigeria to include natural or human-made disasters (like floods) and in most cases, scarcity of resources. IDPs live within the local populations but are pressured to flee their homes and in some instances, to seek refuge in border countries.

“In 2014, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) estimated that as many as 1,000 refugees a week flee Nigeria mainly because of violence from Boko Haram; crossing the border into Niger’s Diffa region to seek refuge.”

SBM intelligence added that the tensions in the county have led to armed confrontations, mass killings and further displacement of some farming communities.

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