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Last update: October 2021

Imo state is composed of 27 LGAs and its capital is Owerri city. The state’s estimated population was 5 408 756 in 2016.

Imo state, as an oil-producing state part of the Niger Delta, shares a history of economic exploitation, environmental pollution and political marginalisation which has made the Niger Delta a rather violent region. The main actors in Imo state are Fulani herdsmen (militias), several local militias, local cult groups, members of IPOB/MASSOB/ESN, militants from political parties, and the Nigerian police and security forces.

Ιn 2020 several human rights violations recorded in Imo state included abuses by security forces, gang and cult violence, vigilante and mob violence. Clashes with Fulani herdsmen, related to conflicts over grazing land, also occurred. Furthermore, cult rivalry has led to several deaths and injuries and has caused panic among residents. MASSOB and IPOB/ESN have been involved in clashes with the police and many of their members have been arrested. Security forces have further raided ESN camps in the area. #EndSARS protests have also been reported in the area. Increased cases of armed robberies and theft have been reported in Imo state.

During 2020, ACLED reported a total of 38 security incidents (6 battles, 16 cases of violence against civilians, 16 incidents of riots) in Imo state (average of 0.7 security incident per week). Security incidents took place in 16 out of 27 LGAs, with the largest overall number (10) being recorded in the LGA of Owerri-Municipal.

The abovementioned security incidents resulted in 18 deaths. Compared to the estimated population in the state, this represents less than 1 fatality per 100 000 inhabitants.

From 1 January to 30 April 2021, ACLED reported a total of 32 security incidents (14 battles, 1 incident of remote violence/explosions, 13 cases of violence against civilians, 4 incidents of riots) in Imo state (average of 1.9 security incident per week). These incidents resulted in 59 deaths.

Information on the number of conflict-related IDPs and on the number of returnees in Imo state could not be found.


Looking at the indicators, it can be concluded that in the state of Imo there is, in general, no real risk for a civilian to be personally affected within the meaning of Article 15(c) QD.
Main COI reference: Security situation 2021, 2.25