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June Alerts and May Trends 2023

Bola Tinubu sworn in as president, while violence continued countrywide after brief lull during election period.

New president sworn as election results remained challenged. Following election marred by continuing legal challenges, Bola Ahmed Tinubu 29 May took office as president; during inauguration ceremony, Tinubu identified security as his administration’s “top priority”, promised reform of security agencies and greater investment in “training, equipment, pay and firepower” of security personnel.

Criminal violence, notably kidnapping for ransom, continued unabated in North West Zone. Numerous kidnapping incidents reported in Kaduna state. Notably, armed groups 7 May abducted 40 worshippers at church in Madala village, Chikun area, and 12 May kidnapped 22 villagers of Kagarko area. In Niger state, gunmen 9-12 May raided several villages in Paikoro and Rijau areas, kidnapping scores. In Zamfara state, gunmen 24 May killed 20 farmers in Maradun area, while at least 26 people were killed 30 May in three separate incidents in Maru area.

Herder-farmer conflict flared in North Central Zone, insecurity mounted in Abuja. In Plateau state, spate of attacks in villages of Mangu area 15-17 May left at least 125 residents dead and forced over 20,000 to flee; local authorities blamed violence on herders. Amid mounting insecurity in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, security forces 7 May rescued 134 persons, mostly kidnapped in Abaji, Kuje and Kwali areas. Gunmen 14 May stormed housing estate in Kuje area and kidnapped at least 15 people.

Jihadist and communal violence persisted in North East Zone. Military reported continuing gains against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province, with 26 combatants killed and 511 fighters and their families surrendering to troops 4-18 May. However, vehicles of Multinational Joint Task Force 14 May set off explosive devices in Arege area in Borno state, with three soldiers killed.

Separatist and other violence continued to plague South East Zone. South East also saw first attack on diplomatic personnel and assets, as gunmen 17 May ambushed convoy of vehicles conveying U.S. embassy staff to flood response project in Anambra state, killing seven people and kidnapping another three; police 18 May blamed attack on Indigenous People of Biafra separatist group, which condemned incident.