Police clashed with supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) party Kaduna (Kaduna state) on Friday, May 31, amid a protest to demand the release of the group's leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. Security forces reportedly deployed tear gas and fired live rounds in an attempt to disperse protesters on Ahmadu Bello Way.
A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in central Kaduna. Further clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Violent protests broke out in Abuja in 2018 as thousands of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) supporters demanded the release Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. Several INM supporters were killed in unrest in October.
El-Zakzaky, a prominent Shi'a cleric, was arrested in December 2015 when soldiers raided his home in Zaria (Kaduna state), killing a number of IMN followers in the process. The Nigerian Federal High Court ordered El-Zakzaky's release in December 2016, but he has nevertheless remained in detention.
IMN protests occur on a regular basis, especially in Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano states, despite a ban on the group's activities.
Individuals in Kaduna are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate significant business and transportation disruptions and increased security measures, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Nigeria remains complex. Although travel is permissible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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