Summary of Mass Atrocities Casualties for May 2023
Our data tracking for the month of May showed that at least 391 people were killed with over 207 persons abducted in 91 communities across the country. This figure is the 3rd lowest recorded since the start of the year indicating a 28.26% decrease in violent killings compared to what was recorded in April. Moreover, abductions have gone down by 22.30% compared to the previous month of February.
Communal Clashes claimed the highest number of deaths in April, with 135 deaths ahead of Banditry which accounts for at least 122 casualties, followed by Herdsmen-related Killings which constitutes at least 44 casualties. Secessionist activities in the Southeast claimed at least 28 lives. Cult Clashes were responsible for at least 34 deaths while Boko Haram/ISWAP and Isolated Attacks claimed at least 14 lives respectively.
SECURITY PERSONNEL LOSSES
Out of the 391 killings recorded, 7.16% of them were security personnel representing at least 28 deaths, comprising 16 Police and 12 Military personnel killed across the country in April, while the remaining 92.84% of the lives lost were civilians (at least 363 deaths). Though the data on killings of security operatives shows a significant decrease, the continued loss of lives of security personnel in Nigeria creates significant challenges and dangers in recent years, with reports of attacks by armed groups and criminal organizations.
In the month of May, the data collected shows that at least 207 people were kidnapped in various geopolitical zones of the country with Bandits operating mainly in the Northwest and North Central parts of the country being the main perpetrators of this violation. 72.25% representing 151 of such abductions took place in the North-Central and Northwest parts of the country respectively while the Northeast had at least 3 reported abductions within the period under review. However, 27.75% of casualties representing 58 abductions happened in the Southern part of the country. The South-South recorded at least 36 abductions; the Southeast recorded at least 10 abduction cases while the Southwest recorded 12 people abducted.
Even with this seeming decrease in abduction cases compared to what was recorded previously, it has been confirmed that this emerging form of mass atrocities continues to pose a threat to the free movement of citizens in pursuit of their livelihoods.
Conclusively, our data for May 2023 indicates a minimal decrease in the number of lives lost to violent killings and abductions. However, the increased Herdsmen related killings in the North-Central part of the country especially Benue State leaves a lot to be desired as the mayhem continues to escalate. Also, the number of Abductions went down significantly in the month of May generally.
Sadly, the continued unending reported losses of lives of security personnel is a grievous assault which continuously strikes an air of palpable fear to the consciousness of all Nigerians raising doubts as to the capacity of the nation’s military to effectively secure her land and people. To allay these fears in the minds of people, there’s a need for a sustained and far-reaching military offensive against criminality in the different regions of the country which are all experiencing one form of human rights violation or the other.