NIGERIA: 86 Dead in Clashes between Farmers and Herders

JOS, June 26, 2018 (CISA) – More than 80 people killed over the weekend in heated clashes between farmers and herders in central Plateau State.

The clash is the latest in a series conflicts between nomadic Fulani herdsmen, most of whom are Muslim, and the largely Christian farmers of the region, over resources and has been going on for several years.

According to Plateau State officials the violence in Berom villages over Saturday and Sunday left at least 50 homes burnt and a death toll of about 86 people.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria referred to the attacks as, “painful and regrettable,” and offered his deepest condolences to the affected communities.

“We will not rest until all murderers and criminal elements and their sponsors are incapacitated and brought to justice,” President Buhari said on Twitter.

The state government has now imposed a 6pm – 6am curfew in the Barkin Ladi, Riyom, and Jos South local government areas to “avert a breakdown of law and order.”

“The increasing cycle of violence and impunity we have observed in Nigeria over the past few months warrants a firm response from Nigeria’s civil leaders, beginning with President Buhari. I implore Nigeria’s moral voices, especially the Sultan of Sokoto, to speak out against the Fulani extremists’ growing disregard for the life and property of Nigerian Christians,” said US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair of the House Subcommittee on Africa, on June 25.

In May, Nigeria’s Catholic bishops encouraged dioceses around the nation to unite in prayer and peaceful processions to honor the victims who have died at the hands of the herdsmen and for the end of violence.

The recent incident comes in the wake of other deadly attacks involving Fulani herders, including an incident in April when herdsmen opened fire at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Benue State, leaving 19 dead.