Boko Haram released a video on Tuesday, July 22, where militants summarily executed four NGO workers and a security guard. The date of the execution was unspecified; however, the victims reportedly appeared in a video on June 28 where they pleaded with the Nigerian government and their respective organisations for their release. The victims were captured between June 1 and June 8 while travelling from Monguno to the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.
Similar incidents are possible in Borno state over the near term.
The threat of terrorist attacks targeting aid workers and security forces along highways was reiterated on July 22 when BH mounted a roadblock at Wajiroko village. The militants intercepted over 30 vehicles while asking for passenger's means of identification in search of aid workers and security forces. Such attacks express a degradation in Boko Haram's and Islamic State of West Africa Province's (ISWAP's) perception of humanitarian agencies and raises concerns over attacks on humanitarian workers and facilities. The Nigerian government and foreign governments often refuse to pay ransoms to avoid setting a precedent and encouraging further kidnappings. Although, reporting sometimes indicates that some organizations pay to secure the release of their employees.
Individuals in Borno state are advised to remain vigilant, vary daily schedules and itineraries, and refrain from sharing personal information with unknown persons to limit the risk of being targeted by potential kidnappers. If attacked, remain calm, do not offer resistance, and adopt a cooperative attitude. Do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible (e.g. accepted offered food, engage in conversation initiated by your captors, avoid all political or potentially inflammatory topics, etc.).
The security situation in Nigeria remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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