Conflict briefing notes: conflict briefing No.31, December 2015

Conflict briefing notes: conflict briefing No.31, December 2015

Some cases of attacks by the suspected militants of Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati W al Jihad (JAS) were reported in communities in Yobe and Borno states in December 2015. However, the Federal Government announced that the military has met the presidential deadline of defeating the insurgents by December 31. This follows sustained efforts of the military to arrest suspected insurgents and persons suspected to be supplying food and equipment to the insurgents.

A major breach of security occurred in Zaria during the month following reported clashes between soldiers from the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shiite) led by Sheik Ibraheem El- Zakzaky. The clashes, which reportedly occurred after some members of the sect blocked the road and hindered passage of the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, led to the death of some members of the Shiite group, including El-Zakzaky's wife and son. Shiite groups have continued to protest the attack and killings of their members and the detention of Sheik Zakzaky raising concerns of possible escalation. There are fears that if not well managed, the crises could turn Nigeria to another theatre for the face-off between Saudi Arabia (Suni) and Iran (Shiite). Although the Federal Government through the National Human Rights Commission and the Kaduna State Government have established enquiries to investigate the cause of the clashes and recommend solutions, the continued detention of El Zakzaky by security forces has kept tensions at high levels.

The prosecution of the anti-corruption campaign of the Buhari administration continued to generate controversy as opposition parties and some members of the public claimed the campaign is targeting members of the opposition and critics of the party . This allegation has resounded following the detention and prosecution of persons named in the investigations into the alleged diversion of over $2billion arms funds by Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd), the former National Security Adviser (NSA). The government has also been accused of undermining the independence of the judiciary by refusing to obey court orders to release some suspects such as Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu, director of the unlicensed Biafra Radio. Supporters of Kanu have vowed to continue street protests that have af fected economic and social life in several southern cities since November.

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