This weekly update spotlights gang violence in the Niger Delta with a focus on the resurgence of cult related killings in Edo State. According to data (see map below), over 260 cult related fatalities were reported in Edo State between January 2016 and September 2020, particularly in Benin City, the state capital. Recent data indicates a rise in cult related killings in the State, reportedly driven by the buildup of criminals and proliferation of arms as a result of prison breaks and the looting of armories in the aftermath of the ‘EndSARS’ protests in the State. In October 2020, over 1,900 inmates reportedly escaped from two correctional facilities in the State. Cult related killings and robbery have increased since the mass prison breaks. Recently, over 18 persons were reportedly killed in a series of clashes between rival cult gangs at different locations in the State. Between November 09 and 14, 2020, for instance, 12 persons were reportedly killed during clashes between rival cult gangs at differ-ent locations in Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha, Egor and Ovia North East LGAs. Three police officers were reportedly shot during one of the incidents.
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