As a result of a rise in banditry, cattle stealing, and kidnapping for ransom in the northwest states of Nigeria, at least 1,087,875 people have been forced to leave their homes.
The crisis has been shown to greatly impact women and children. In Katsina State, 54% of women and 56% of children were forced to move, and a total of 223,473 people were affected.
This was said at the official start of the Conflict Mitigation and Community Reconciliation Project in Northwest Nigeria, which was held on Monday in Katsina State’s capital. The UN Migration Agency (IOM) put on the event.
IOM’s Chief of Mission, Laurent De Boeck, said several conflicts in the Northwest have occurred since 2014. In October 2022, researchers found that the number of conflicts had gone up, affecting “an estimated number of over one million people, of which 29% are from Katsina State.”
Reiterating that the IOM, Mercy Corps, and Centre for Democracy Development, with the help of the European Union, are working with the Katsina state government to promote a community reconciliation process in the state. The goal is to reduce conflict, promote locally-driven peace initiatives, and reduce conflict over the natural resources of northwest Nigeria.
The project will take place in four local government areas in Katsina State: Dandume, Danmusa, Batsari, and Jibia. It will run for about 18 months, from January 2022 to July 2023.
Nasiru Muazu Danmusa, the commissioner of internal affairs and security, also spoke on behalf of the state government. He thanked the international partners for the project and said that the state needs more help to fight the instability that has plagued some parts of the state.