The Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta has release its 2017 Niger Delta Annual conflict report. The annual report studied the trends and patterns of conflict risk factors and incidents of violence, and the related pressures on peace and stability in the Niger Delta from January to December of the same year.
The report which is not designed as a conflict analysis, is however, intended to update stakeholders on the annual patterns and trends in violence in the region.
It also reflected an understanding of the
deeper conflict drivers and related impact that allows stakeholders to proactively address emerging trends rather than only reactively respond to conflict incidents.
According to the report, there was a shift in the trends and patterns of conflict risk and violence in the Niger Delta in 2017, compared to the trend in 2016.
The report also indicated that there has
been a decrease in cultism, political violence, and militancy since 2016, but an increase in communal violence.
Violence in Rivers, for instance, reduced
after the contentious elections of 2016, while
communal violence in Cross River and Akwa Ibom increased significantly.
Meanwhile in 2017, there was also an increase in Igbo ethno-nationalist agitation especially in Abia, Delta, and Rivers.
The report showed that the most violent month during the year was July, with a total of 256 fatalities.
In one incident in July, for instance, 84 persons were reportedly killed in a communal dispute over land in Cross River.
Separately, in April, 29 people were reportedly
killed in a dispute between communities in Akwa Ibom and Cross River.
The most violent LGA in the Niger Delta region during the year of study, was Itu, Akwa Ibom, where there was a spike in communal violence between Ikot Offiong and Oku Iboku community militias.
Conflict risk and violence also impacted on the
human rights of individuals during the period.
Many of the criminal incidents and communal
conflict involved violence affecting women and
The report states that in addition to the impact of criminal and communal violence on the livelihoods of women and girls, counter-insurgency operations by public security forces affected the human rights of residents, especially women and girls.
The report highlights that Cross River State is the most violent state in the region followed by Delta State.
Rivers State was third on list of most violent state followed by Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Edo, Abia, Bayelsa and Imo State.
In the most violent local government category, Itu (Akwa Ibom) is reported as the most violent local government followed by, Yala (Cross River) and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni in Rivers State.
Others include Uruan (Akwa Ibom), Port Harcourt (Rivers), Yenagoa (Bayelsa), Oredo (Benin) and Emohua (Rivers State)