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14 Apr 2020 | 03:57 PM UTC

Chad: Boko Haram attack displaces tens of thousands in Lake Chad region as of April 14/update 1 /update 1

Ongoing conflict in Lake Chad region between military forces and Boko Haram prompts displacement of around 20,000 people as of April 14; further conflict likely over the near term

security
TCD

Event

As of Tuesday, April 14, the ongoing conflict between Boko Haram and the Chadian army has led to the displacement of around 20,000 local residents of the Lake Chad region. Most of those impacted fled the villages of the North Basin (Fouli) to Diameron, with the former now under a state of emergency. Authorities declared the Lake Chad region a 'war zone' following an offensive launched by the army on March 31.

A spokesman for the Chadian army stated on Thursday, April 9, that around 1000 Boko Haram militants were killed during the six-day operation in the Lake Chad area. Additionally, 52 troops were killed and another 196 wounded. The army launched the offensive in response to Boko Haram's biggest ambush attack on Chadian forces on March 23, which killed almost 100 soldiers. The military has claimed that the operation resulted in a number of Boko Haram's hideouts being cleared. Boko Haram has not made any comments on these statements as of Tuesday.

Retaliatory Boko Haram militant attacks are possible over the near term.

Context

Although regional counterinsurgency efforts targeting Boko Haram that began in 2015 - led by West African states Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger - has greatly diminished the group's territorial control since 2015, its members continue to routinely carry out deadly terrorist attacks. Boko Haram's stronghold is in northeastern Nigeria, where the majority of its activities are concentrated.

Advice

Individuals in Chad, especially in the Lake Chad area, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, limit time in areas deemed likely to be targeted in a terrorist attack (e.g. crowded markets, etc.), and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.