At least 3,071 non-state actors including Boko Haram fighters and members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra have been killed in the last 12 months, an Africa-focused research firm, SBM Intel, has said.
The firm, in a report released on Thursday titled, ‘Nigeria at war: Combatant casualties Q4 2020 to Q3 2021’, also said a total of 985 security agents including police officers, soldiers, Customs officials, amongst others, were killed between October 2020 and September 2021.
A Security Analyst at SBM Intel, Confidence MacHarry said on Thursday that the report on the killings was based on a number of gathering tools including the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria security tracker, as well as SBM’s own internal database of security incidents around the country.
The firm gave a breakdown of the 985 security officers killed in the period under review as: 642 military officers, 322 police officers, 11 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, five Customs officials, two DSS operatives, two Immigrations officers, and an officer with the Federal Road Safety Corps.
It also gave the breakdown of the 3,686 total non-state actors killed as: 1,989 bandits, 973 Boko Haram members, 290 cultists, 129 vigilantes, 100 IPOB members, 88 kidnappers, nine militants and nine smugglers.
SBM, in the report, said, “The Uppsala Conflict Data Programme defines war as a state-based conflict that reaches at least 1,000 battle-related deaths in a specific calendar year.
“The most known and influential definition was developed by David Singer and Melvin Small in the framework of the ‘Correlates of War (COW)’ project at Michigan University which has assembled statistical data on wars around the world since 1816.
“It also defines war as any violent conflict with at least 1,000 killed combatants in a year. Both definitions exclude genocides and sporadic massacres and make efforts to include only casualties. that belong to organised parties the violence.
“With these in mind, we have looked at SBM’s database of violent deaths in Nigeria in the period of Q4 2020 to Q3 2021. We excluded violent civilian deaths, as well as those of belligerents that could be, by whatever definition, classified as non-insurgent or non-terrorist.
“This filtering has given us a total of 966 soldiers and policemen killed in the period, while 3071 people belonging to either Boko Haram, IPOB, or various militant and bandit groups have been killed in that period. The offshoot of this is that we can only say that Nigeria is at war