1m Internally Displaced Over Banditry, Kidnapping in Northwest

Over a million individuals have been displaced within the northwest region of Nigeria due to the increasing menace of banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnappings, as reported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

A staggering 54 percent of females and 56 percent of children have been forced to flee in Katsina State alone, amplifying concerns about the crisis’s impact on women and children.

The total number of those affected in the state stands at 223,473.

The IOM unveiled these alarming statistics during the official launch of a conflict mitigation and community reconciliation project in northwest Nigeria, organized in Katsina State’s capital on Monday, with the backing of the UN Migration (IOM).

Laurent De Boeck, the Chief of Mission at IOM, emphasized that conflicts in the northwest have persisted since 2014.

A research conducted in October 2022 revealed a surge in these conflicts, impacting more than one million individuals, out of which 29 percent are from Katsina State.

In a collaboration involving Mercy Corp and the Centre for Democracy Development, generously supported by the European Union, IOM is partnering with the Katsina state government to initiate a community reconciliation process.

The primary goals are to reduce conflict, foster peace initiatives driven by local communities, and alleviate conflicts arising from disputes over natural resources in the region.

This project, slated to span 18 months from January 2022 to July 2023, will be carried out across four local government areas: Dandume, Danmusa, Batsari, and Jibia in Katsina State.

The commissioner of Internal Affairs and Security, Nasiru Muazu Danmusa, speaking on behalf of the state government, expressed gratitude to the international partners for their involvement in the project.

He acknowledged that the state requires increased support to combat the prevailing insecurity that has plagued various parts of the region.

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