🤩 Discover new information from across the web

Nigerian bandit conflict

Conflict between Gangs and the Nigerian government

Nigerian bandit conflict
Part of Herder–farmer conflicts in Nigeria

Nigerian bandits at their base in 2021
Date2011–present[1]
Location
Throughout northwest Nigeria
Status Ongoing
Belligerents

Nigeria

Vigilante groups

  • Vigilante Group of Nigeria
  • Yan Sakai

Various gangs

  • Hausa militias
  • Fulani militias

Alleged involvement

Commanders and leaders
Muhammadu Buhari
LTG Farouk Yahaya
LTG Tukur Yusuf Buratai
Maj Gen Adeniyi Oyebade
Maj Gen Aminu Bande
Air Mshl Sadique Abubakar
Maj Gen Hussein Ahmed [2]
Kachalla Halilu[3]
Dogo Gide[4]
Kachalla Turji[5]
Sani Mochoko
Bello Turji
Sani Buta
Danmakaranta
Ali Kachalla[6]
Mani Na Saleh[7]
Adamu Aliero Yankuzo[8]
Abubakar Ali (POW)[9]
Jack Bros Yellow (POW)[10]
Goma Sama'ila (POW)[11]
Dan Karami (WIA)
Auwalun Daudawa [12]
Alhaji Karki [13]
Buharin Daji [14]
Damina  [15]
Other local commanders
Units involved

8 divisions[16]
1 Mechanized Division

  • 312 Field Artillery Regiment
  • 31 Artillery Brigade
  • 223 Armored Battalion
  • 2 Battalion
207 Quick Response Group[17]
Unknown
Strength
Unknown 30,000+ Zamfara State[18]
Casualties and losses
Unknown
1 Alpha Jet[19]
Unknown
At least 12,000 killed[20]
450,000 people displaced[21]

The bandit conflict in northwest Nigeria is an ongoing conflict between the country's government and various gangs and ethnic militias. Starting in 2011, the insecurity remaining from the conflict between the Fulani and Hausa ethnic groups quickly allowed other criminal and jihadist elements to form in the region.

Origins

The origins of the bandit conflict can be traced back to herder-farmer conflicts that plague Nigeria. Environmental decline and the scarcity of water and arable land led to communities competing viciously for those limited resources. Unemployment, large-scale poverty and weak local government have allowed for a steady stream of desperate people turning to criminal activity to earn a living. Large forested areas allow for concealment and the formation of camps deep in the forest. Unequipped police and military personnel are unable to reach these areas.[22]

Escalation

Continued insecurity, desertification and possible jihadist influence have allowed for a rise in attacks to take place. Large-scale weapon smuggling has allowed criminal gangs access to heavy weapons, increasing the deadliness of attacks. Underequipped local and federal forces, coupled with the harsh terrain, make offensive actions into the forest dangerous and susceptible to ambushes and attacks. Continued government inability to effectively deal with the problem has allowed the insecurity to spread and grow in ferocity.[23]

Kidnapping

Bandits in Nigeria have been known to ride into villages on motorcycles to loot and kidnap the inhabitants, killing anyone who resists. Kidnapping is a very profitable venture in northwest Nigeria. Between 2011 and 2020, Nigerians paid at least 18 million naira to free family members and friends.[3][24]

Arms trade

Illegal arms are prevalent in northwest Nigeria. Bandit gangs control gold mines and use the gold to purchase arms from internal and international arms dealers.[25] There are an estimated 60,000 illegal weapons in circulation in northwest Nigeria. The border of northern Nigeria is undefended, with only 1,950 personnel to police the whole border, making it easy for smuggling across the border.[26]

Belligerents

Nigerian bandits inside their base, February 2021

In Zamfara state alone, there are (as of 2021) over 30,000 bandits and 100 camps.[27]

Ali Kachalla

Ali Kachalla is a bandit leader in his early 30s who was born in a small town called Madada near Dansadau. Kachalla controls a bandit group of about 200 in the Kuyambana Forest. His main base of operations consists of several huts along the Goron Dutse River, about 25 km south of Dansadau. Kachalla's gang directly controls the villages of Dandalla, Madada and Gobirawa Kwacha, from where he launches attacks on Dansadau and other neighboring communities. Kachalla's gang is allied with Dogo Gide's nomadic gang.

Kachalla's gang has carried out numerous attacks, most notably the downing of a Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet on 18 June 2021 and the destruction of a Mowag Piranha armored personnel carrier in Dansadau on 23 July 2021.[28] Kachalla's gang has suffered defeats, most notably losing 30 men in a battle with an Ansaru cell.[29]

Dogo Gide

Abubakar Abdullahi, known as Dogo Gide, is the leader of a bandit group near Dansadau. He is from Maru local government and is in his 40s, married with children. He is known for killing bandit leader Buharin Daji and 24 of Daji's gang members by luring Daji to a peace meeting. He also killed a rival bandit leader named Damina who had attacked villages under Gide's control.[30][31][32]

Kachalla Halilu Sububu Seno

Kachalla Halilu Sububu Seno is the leader of a Fulani bandit group. He commands over 1,000 bandits in the Sububu Forest across Zamfara State and has connections to bandit groups across the west African countries of Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and the Central African Republic. He signed a peace treaty with the city of Shinkafi but has shifted his activities elsewhere.[33][34]

Kachalla Turji

Kachalla Turji, also known as Gudda Turji, is the leader of a bandit group that operates along Sokoto Road, raiding towns, villages and settlements in the area. On 17 July 2021, Kachalla Turji's main base was raided by security personnel, where they arrested his father. Kachalla Turji then attacked the villages of Kurya, Keta, Kware, Badarawa, Marisuwa and Maberaya, killing 42, abducting 150 and burning 338 houses.[35][36][37]

Dan Karami

Dan Karami is the leader of a bandit gang that operates around Safana, Dan Musa, and Batsari local government areas. Karami's group is responsible for kidnapping 300 students from a secondary boarding school. On 23 January 2021, Karami was injured during a clash with a rival group headed by Mani Na Saleh Mai Dan Doki over the control of guns, ammunition and stolen cattle. The clash took place at Illela village and killed 20 of Dan Karami's bandits and nine civilians.[38][39]

Adamu Aliero Yankuzo

Adamu Aliero Yankuzo, better known as Yankuzo, is the leader of a bandit group that operates in the forested regions of Katsina and Zamfara states. He controls a bandit group numbering about 2,000. Yankuzo is 45 years old and was born in Yankuzo village. He has at least one son. On 16 June 2020, Yankuzo was declared wanted by the Katsina State Police Command for five million Nigerian naira. Yankuzo's gang has carried out a number of attacks, including the killing 52 people in Kadisau village in revenge for the arrest of his son on 9 June 2020.[8]

Jihadist groups

ISWAP and Boko Haram have both claimed to have carried out attacks in northwest Nigeria, and some bandit groups have claimed to have formed alliances with the jihadist groups.[40] In a phone call intercepted by American intelligence in October 2021, an unnamed jihadist group and a bandit group discussed kidnapping operations and negotiations between the groups.[41]

Boko Haram is also believed to have sent specialized personnel, including bomb makers and military advisors, as well as military equipment to the Kaduna state to train and equip their bandit groups' allies.[42][43]

Ansaru resurgence

Ansaru, a jihadist group linked with al-Qaeda, is believed to have been operating in the Kaduna state. After going silent in 2013, Ansaru began attacking Nigerian military and police personnel and infrastructure,[44] including an ambush of a Nigerian military convoy on 15 January 2020.[45]

Bello Turji

Bello Turji Kachalla is the leader of a bandits and kidnappers gang that operates in the Zamfara and Sokoto states.

Refugees

At least 247,000 people have been displaced and 120 villages have been razed in continuing bandit activity in northwest Nigeria.[46][47] At least 77,000 of the displaced have been forced into Niger's Maradi Region, where cross-border raids and attacks continue. At least 11,320 refugees have been successfully relocated.[48]

Timeline

Bandits arrested in Zamfara state, September 2021

Nigerian government operations

Operation Harbin Kunama

On 8 July 2016, president Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Nigerian military would launch a military operation code-named Operation Harbin Kunama. The operation was carried out by the 223 armored battalion of the 1 Mechanised Division[49][50] and targeted bandit groups in the Dansadau Forest. In the days before the announcement, convoys carried new military equipment into the Zamfara state, including tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.[51]

Operation Sharan Daji

In early 2016, Operation Sharan Daji was launched by the Nigerian military to combat bandits in the northwest. The operation was conducted by 31 Artillery Brigade and 2 Battalion of the first 1 Mechanised Division. By March 2016, 35 bandits were killed, 36 guns were seized, 6,009 cattle were recovered, 49 bandit camps were destroyed and 38 bandits were captured.[52]

Operation Accord

On 5 June 2020, the Nigerian military launched Operation Accord, which established a joint task force of vigilantes and troops of the 312 Artillery Regiment. An air and ground offensive was launched on the same day on which the operation was announced, killing more than 70 bandits.[53] The operation led to the destruction of multiple bandit camps, including a camp belonging to Ansaru.[54]

Major bandit attacks

2020

2021

2022

References

  1. ^ "Combating Banditry in Northwest Nigeria". American Security Project. Archived from the original on 26 July 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Army mourns as General killed by bandits is buried in Abuja". Punchng. 16 July 2021. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Inside a Nigerian Bandit Camp". VOA. 28 February 2021. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Zamfara bandits' leader, Dogo Gide Assures Of Release Of Abducted Kagara Students And Teachers". the Nigerian voice. 20 February 2021. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Zamfara bandit goes wild over father's arrest, holds 150 hostage". The Nation. 18 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Ali Kachalla: Unveiling The Zamfara Terror Kingpin Who Downed NAF Jet". daily Trust. 2 August 2021. Archived from the original on 6 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Notorious bandits' leader terrorizing Katsina reportedly badly injured in crossfire – Katsina Post". AREWASOUND. 31 January 2021. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Nigeria's dreaded bandits unleashing untold terror on helpless citizens". PUNCH. 31 January 2021. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  9. ^ "NIGER: Suspected bandit behind abduction of nine women in Shiroro arrested". NajiaTimes. 16 May 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Nigerian Army Captures Notorious Bandit Leader, Jack Bros Yellow In Niger State". Sahara Reporters. 14 May 2021. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Nigerian Military Captures Notorious Bandits' Leader, Goma Sama'ila". Sahara Reporters. 25 September 2021. Archived from the original on 9 October 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Nigeria kidnap kingpin killed in clash with rival gang". news24. 1 May 2021. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  13. ^ "The Killing Of Bandit Leader Who's Granted Amnesty Years Ago And The Lessons To Be Learned". Opera News. 18 October 2021. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  14. ^ "Zamfara: Dreaded armed bandit 'Buharin Daji' reportedly killed". The Sun. 8 March 2021. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  15. ^ "Notorious Bandit Who Burnt Resident Alive Shot Dead in Northern State". Legit. 28 October 2021. Archived from the original on 1 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Troops eliminate 53 bandits including 5 Commanders in Zamfara after clearance Operations". Vanguard. 10 May 2021. Archived from the original on 29 July 2021. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  17. ^ Umeh, Kanayo (27 July 2018). "Air Force arrests 16 suspected armed bandits in Zamfara – Nigeria and World News". The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News. Archived from the original on 30 November 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  18. ^ "30,000 bandits terrorising my state, says Gov Matawalle". The Nation. 3 April 2021. Archived from the original on 29 July 2021. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Nigerian fighter jet shot down by criminals, pilot survives". Yahoo!New. 19 July 2021. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  20. ^ "The Bandit Warlords of Nigeria". New Lines Magazine. 1 December 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  21. ^ "Criminal Gangs Destabilizing Nigeria's North West". Africa center for strategic studies. Archived from the original on 18 January 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  22. ^ "Combating Banditry in Northwest Nigeria". American Security Project. Archived from the original on 26 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Why insurgent and bandit attacks are intensifying in Nigeria". TRTworld. 7 May 2021. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Katsina: The motorcycle bandits terrorising northern Nigeria". BBC. 5 July 2020. Archived from the original on 31 July 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  25. ^ "Small Arms Proliferate in Nigeria". 14 North. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  26. ^ Azeez, Wasilat (11 September 2021). "'N20k to transport AK-47, N5k for ammunition' – insider's account on banditry business in Zamfara". TheCable. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  27. ^ "30,000 bandits terrorising my state, says Gov Matawalle". The Nation. 3 April 2021. Archived from the original on 29 July 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  28. ^ "Bandits Invade Zamfara Community, Kill 3 Persons, Abduct 7". Channels Television. 23 July 2021. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  29. ^ "Ali Kachalla: Unveiling The Zamfara Terror Kingpin Who Downed NAF Jet". Daily Trust. 2 August 2021. Archived from the original on 6 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  30. ^ "Dogo Gide: The man who killed Buharin Daji". Daily Trust. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  31. ^ "Dogo Gide: Mutumin Da Ya Hallaka Buharin Daji". dailytrust. 16 March 2018. Archived from the original on 12 September 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  32. ^ "Is notorious bandit Dogo Gide dead? What we know so far". Premium times. 3 November 2021. Archived from the original on 1 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  33. ^ "Inside a Nigerian Bandit Camp". VOA. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  34. ^ "In Rare Access To Enclave: Bandits Speak On Ravaging Insecurity". Daily Trust. 26 February 2021. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  35. ^ "Zamfara bandit goes wild over father's arrest, holds 150 hostage". The Nation. 18 July 2021. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  36. ^ "Nigerian Government Has Failed Us, We're Not Afraid Of Death – Zamfara Bandits Commander, Turji". Sahara reporters. 3 February 2021. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  37. ^ "Bandits Are Terrorists – No Ifs, No Buts". Daily Trust. 21 July 2021. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  38. ^ "Bandits' leader injured in Katsina clash". The Nation. 1 February 2021. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  39. ^ "Dankarami: Notorious bandits' leader terrorizing Katsina reportedly badly injured in crossfire". Katsina Post. 31 January 2021. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  40. ^ "Nigerian outrage at brazen bandit attacks". BBC. 26 July 2021. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  41. ^ "US confirms Boko Haram, bandits working together to blackmail Buhari regime". Vanguard. 18 October 2021. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  42. ^ "Boko Haram sends bomb makers to Kaduna as ISIS visits ISWAP in Lake Chad". Daily post. 27 October 2021. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  43. ^ "Boko Haram Fighters Training Bandits In Northern Nigeria To Use Anti-aircraft Guns, Explosives—Report". Sahara reporters. 26 September 2021. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  44. ^ "Al Qaeda-linked group claims attack in northwestern Nigeria". Long war Journal. 8 August 2020. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  45. ^ "Ansaru publicly returns to Nigeria". The Longwar journal. 17 January 2020. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  46. ^ "The Growing Threat of Armed Banditry in North-West Nigeria". StrifeBlog. 8 January 2021. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  47. ^ "247,000 in North-west states displaced by insecurity, flood – FG". Blueprint Newspapers Limited. 27 October 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  48. ^ "Surging violence in Nigeria drives displacement to Niger". UNHCR. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  49. ^ "223 Armoured Battalion". Who was in command. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  50. ^ "Buhari Launches Army Operation Against Armed Bandits, Others In Zamfara". Information Nigeria. 14 July 2016. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  51. ^ "Troops kill 11 gunmen, two terrorists in Zamfara, Borno". the guardian. 18 July 2016. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  52. ^ "35 bandits killed, 39 others arrested in North-East – Nigerian Army". Premium times. 19 March 2016. Archived from the original on 30 November 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  53. ^ "Troops of Operation Accord kill 70 bandits in Kachia forest – DHQ". the guardian. 6 June 2020. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  54. ^ Ayandele, Olajumoke. "Confronting Nigeria's Kaduna Crisis". Africa center for strategic studies. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  55. ^ "Two flights 'escape' as '200 terrorists' attack Kaduna airport, one dead". Vanguard News. 27 March 2022. Archived from the original on 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  56. ^ "PDP slams Buhari over Kaduna airport attack". Vanguard News. 27 March 2022. Archived from the original on 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  57. ^ Dzirutwe, MacDonald (11 April 2022). "Gunmen attack kills at least 50 in Nigeria's Plateau state". Reuters. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  58. ^ Nanlong, Marie-Therese; Hassan-Wuyo, Ibrahim; Abubakar, Shina (12 April 2022). "94 killed by terrorists, assassins in Plateau, Kaduna, Osun within 24 hrs". Vanguard News. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  59. ^ Asadu, Chinedu (12 April 2022). "Gunmen kill more than 100 in Nigeria's north, say survivors". AP NEWS. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  60. ^ Carter, Sarah. "Nigeria leader vows "no mercy" for gunmen behind massacre that left more than 150 dead in country's north". www.cbsnews.com.