The US Department of State Bureau of Counter-Terrorism on Thursday, December 16, 2021 released its annual country reports on terrorism for the year 2020.
The report is produced annually to examine terrorism matters per counties nd what is being done to address the security crisis.
According to the report, Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa (WA) in 2020 carried out attacks against government, security forces and civilians in the northeast, leading to deaths, injuries, kidnappings and destruction of property.
While Boko Haram attacks do not differentiate between civilians and government officials, ISIS-WA attacks always target government and security forces.
The report further stated that the terrorist groups carried out hundreds of attacks in Nigeria in 2020, using small arms, seized military equipment, etc.
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The terrorists also detonated bombs, engaged in ambushes, operated illegal checkpoints and taxation systems, kidnapped and killed many people.
Though Nigeria collaborates with affected neighbouring countries to counter Boko Haram and ISIS-WA attacks, the report stated that the terrorists still contined to enjoy nearly complete freedom of movement in Borno and Yobe states.
The activities of the terrorists have led to the internal displacement of about two million people in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states, and external displacement of more than 300,000 Nigerian refugees to the neighbouring countries like Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.
Five major terrorist attacks in 2020
- On June 13, ISIS-WA fighters attacked the town of Monguno, killing at least 20 people, wounding at least 40 others, and destroying military vehicles before being driven off by Nigerian troops and aircraft
- Also on June 13, ISIS-WA fighters shot 38 persons and set a truck ablaze with passengers inside in Goni Usmanti, Nganzai Local Government Area. Nganzai LGA is about 37 miles away from Monguno town.
- On August 18, ISIS-WA elements riding in at least 20 trucks entered Kukawa town, where 500 the Borno state government had resettled 500 IDPs on August 10, and attacked security forces there, abducting more than 100 people, including an unknown number of recent returnees
- On November 28, Boko Haram massacred farmers in the fields near the villages of Koshobe and Zabarmari, Jere Local Government Area, Borno State, killing more than 100 people.
- On December 24 and December 26, Boko Haram killed 20 people and abducted 12 others in attacks in six villages of Borno and Adamawa State. The attackers burned down churches, schools, and police stations and looted hospital pharmacies and shops.
UK issues new travel advisory, advises citizens against travelling to 12 Nigerian states
In a travel advisory released on Thursday, December 2, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advised its citizens against all travel to states such as Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Delta (riverine areas), Bayelsa (riverine areas), Rivers (riverine areas), Akwa Ibom (riverine areas), and Cross River (riverine areas).
The FCDO wrote:
"Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks are conducted by Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) and occur in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the North East."