Two South African nationals reportedly kidnapped from a mining site near Maidaro village, Kaduna state, on January 23 were released on Saturday, January 27. According to Nigerian authorities, the individuals were released following a police operation. Both men were reported to be in good health.
Kidnap for ransom - both of high net worth Nigerians and of foreign nationals - is commonplace in the country. Earlier in January, two American and two Canadian nationals were kidnapped near Kafanchan, Kaduna state, while traveling between the city of Kaduna and Abuja. They were released unharmed four days later, in the same area.
On January 25, the Nigerian military announced it had launched Operation Karamin Goro in Kaduna and Niger states, targeting criminal activities, including kidnap for ransom.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly concerning in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.