Community Militia members in Gwoza, Nigeria

As the conflict in northeast Nigeria surpasses a decade, civilians continue to be at risk of harm from community militias. While these local groups provide critical security needs, and by many accounts were essential in preventing the fall of Maiduguri to armed opposition groups, the Nigerian government and civilians need to work with the groups to improve their capacity to better protect civilians.

This policy brief is based on research CIVIC conducted on community militias, including the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), in Borno state, Nigeria. The CJTF, locally known as the Yan Gora, counts more than 26,000 among its ranks in Borno state alone. Community militia members protect, but also prey, on civilians. Based on CIVIC’s research on the CJTF and other community militias, “Nigerian Community Militias: Toward A Solution” outlines actions civil society, as well as federal, state, and local governments can take to ensure that the groups improve their engagement to protect civilians and minimize harm to civilians during their operations.

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