Summary of Mass Atrocities Casualties for April 2023
For the month of April 2023, our data tracking showed that at least 545 people were killed with over 269 abductions in 104 communities across the country.
This is the second-highest number of deaths recorded since the start of the year after March which indicated a minor decrease in violent killings compared to what was recorded in March. Moreover, abductions have gone up minimally when compared to the previous month.
Banditry which was previously recorded in the past years as the largest cause of violent deaths across the country contributed to the highest death toll again in April with 244 deaths while Herdsmen related activities mostly in the North Central part of the country recorded 209 casualties, followed by Communal Clashes which caused about 24 deaths.
Political-related killings claimed 17 casualties, while Boko Haram/ISWAP accounted for 14 deaths. Cult Clashes and Isolated Attacks claimed 12 lives each while Secessionist activities in the Southeastern part of the country claimed at least 8 lives. Extra-Judicial Killings mostly perpetrated by security personnel caused about 3 deaths, the lowest recorded since the start of the year. Mob Attacks presented 2 casualties.
SECURITY PERSONNEL LOSSES
Out of a total of at least 545 people killed, 3.85% of them were security personnel amounting to 21 deaths, which constituted 13 Police officers, 4 Military personnel and 4 Immigration personnel across the country in April, while the remaining 96.15% of the lives lost were civilians (524 deaths). The data on killings of security operatives shows a significant decrease from what was previously recorded in other months. Additionally, the continued loss of security personnel constitutes a consistent threat to the general security of Nigerians. Security personnel in Nigeria have faced significant challenges and dangers in recent years, with reports of attacks by armed groups and criminal organizations.
Data collected in April indicates that at least 269 people were kidnapped in various geopolitical zones of the country with Bandits operating mainly in the Northwest and North Central parts of the country as the main perpetrators. About 94.42% of the abductions took place in the North-Central (125 abducted) and Northwest (126 abducted) while the Northeast has only had 3 reported abductions within this period. Moreover, at least 5.58% representing 15 abductions happened in the Southern part of the country: the South-South recorded at least 9 abductions, while the Southeast had about 2 cases of abduction casualties while the Southwest has only 4 people abducted. Even with the decrease in abductions compared to what was recorded previously, it is confirmed that this emerging form of mass atrocities continues to pose a threat to the activities of citizens and their sources of livelihood in all regions of the country.
Compared to the month of March, the differences in the number of lives lost to violent killings and abductions are not totally significant. In the month of April, the heartbreaking turn of events in the month was the reported killings of over 50 people as a result of Herdsmen-Farmers clashes in Benue State, North-Central Nigeria. However, the increased attacks by Herdsmen in the North-Central part of the country, especially Benue State is particularly disturbing. Abductions have gone up in the month of April generally.
Additionally, the continued loss of lives of security personnel constitutes a present and consistent threat to the general security of Nigerians. The ongoing persistent military operations in some parts of the country may be yielding some levels of results in some regions but sustained and even greater escalation of such military interventions is needed to tackle the whole insecurity across the country.