NO fewer than 2,135 persons have been killed by terrorists in Nigeria between January and April, the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said.
The President of the Commission, Dr. Jean Claude Kassi-Brou made this known today while presenting the 2022 Interim Report on the State of the Community to the ECOWAS Parliament, at its ongoing 2021 First Ordinary Session, in Abuja.
He lamented that the number of incidents of terrorist attacks and fatalities has continued to escalate.
Dr. Kassi-Brou revealed that from 2018 to the first quarter of 2022, the figures for terrorist attacks and fatalities have progressively increased.
According to him, “there were two hundred and sixty-one (261), incidents of terrorist attacks in the region with one thousand two hundred and ninety-eight (1,298), fatalities in 2018. In 2019, it increased to three hundred and eleven (311), incidents with two thousand, one hundred and fifty-nine (2,159), fatalities. In 2020, it escalated to eight hundred and thirty-three (833), incidents with two thousand, one hundred and thirty-seven (2,137), fatalities. In 2021, the incidents again increased to two thousand, three hundred and fifty-nine (2,359) incidents, with five thousand, one hundred and seventy-nine (5,179), fatalities”.
The President of the Commission added that from January to April 2022, the incidents of terrorist attacks in the sub-region stood at one thousand, fifty one (1,051), while the numbers of fatalities are two thousand, one hundred and thirty-five (2,135).
On humanitarian crisis, he said, the number of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), in ECOWAS member states as of 31 December 2020, were four hundred and thirty-five thousand, one hundred and fifty-eight (435,158), refugees, and four million, four hundred thousand, two hundred and eighty-seven (4,400,287), Internally Displaced Persons.
Nigeria he said, tops the chat with over two million (IDPs), and no fewer than sixty-six thousand refugees as of the last day of December 2020.
The President of the Commission also noted that the Niger Republic and Burkina Faso trailed behind Nigeria with 20,250, and 233,131 refugees as well as 1,074,993 and 298,458 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), respectively.
“As at 28 February 2022, Nigeria was still toping the chat with 3,184,058 IDPs and 80,591 refugees. The total of IDPs in West Africa as of 28 February 2022, according to ECOWAS Commission, are 5,540,080, while the sum total of refugees stood at 483,687,” he further revealed.
The President also said the improvement in Maritime Security within the period under review led to the removal of Nigeria from the Piracy List Hotspot of the International Martine Bureau (IMB).
He said that West Regional Maritime Security Centre (CRESMAO), was inaugurated in March 2022 to improve maritime security.