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Fulani jihadists kill 45 Christian farmers in “barbaric” attack

In recent days, Fulani jihadist terrorists have killed at least 45 largely Christian tiv farmers in central Nigeria’s Nasarawa state, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed on Tuesday.

Buhari’s spokesperson issued a statement on his behalf on December 21 expressing “the president’s grief at the heart-wrenching murder of 45 farmers and many injured following the resumption of hostilities in … Nasarawa state.”

Armed Fulani shepherds launched attacks on Nasarawa farmers of the Tiv ethnic group from December 17 to 19. Violence ensued after the recent murder of a Fulani relative in Nasarawa, which cattle herders blamed on local Tiv farmers, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Buhari denounced the 48-hour bloodshed as “senseless and barbaric” in his statement Tuesday. He said his administration “will spare no effort” to bring the culprits “to justice”.

President Buhari is himself a member of the Fulani and Muslim ethnic group. Observers of the worsening Fulani activist crisis in Nigeria have criticized Buhari for his failure to significantly curb the largely Muslim group’s attacks on predominantly Christian farmers.

“In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari (…) came to power, and the situation turned from bad to worse,” Salihu Musa Umar, founder of the African Farmers and Herders Initiative, told AFP. for peace and development.

“Many farmers accused Buhari’s government of bias – or worse, of fueling violence for political ends,” the news agency noted at the time.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (right) addresses the public following his re-election on February 27, 2019 in Abuja. (Photo credit should read KOLA SULAIMON / AFP via Getty Images)

While ethnoreligious tensions between Fulani nomads and other Nigerian farmers have existed for centuries, the mismanagement of the situation by Buhari’s government has allowed the conflict to reach a boiling point in recent months. Rising droughts in northern Nigeria have reportedly prompted Fulani pastoralists to venture “further south into farmers’ territory, creating one of the deadliest conflicts in the world, as both sides battle for resources rare “, detailed AFP at the end of April.

“Nigeria’s median belt has been hit this year by a spike in violence between farmers and herders, which in 2018 was six times deadlier than the Boko Haram insurgency, killing more than 2,000 people,” reported the news agency, citing data from the International Crisis Group. .

The violence most often arises when nomadic Fulani allow their livestock to graze illegally on the land of Nigerian farmers, which may be owned by individuals or individual Nigerian states.

“When the villagers try to push back the pastoralists, violent altercations are common,” he added. Economist report of the Peul-farmers conflict on May 22.

“Cattle theft, a common defect, adds to the volatility. Raids and reprisals sometimes lead to the burning of villages or nomadic camps, and to the death of herders or farmers, ”the newspaper admits.

“In April, for example, 83 people died in what appears to have been fighting between residents and herders in three villages in Zamfara state,” the publication recalls.

The US State Department, under the administration of US President Joe Biden, removed Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom issues on November 17. The action came less than a year after the administration of former US President Donald Trump added Nigeria to the list. on December 7, 2020, for the first time. Then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appointed Nigeria is a country of concern under the United States’ International Religious Freedom Act 1998 “for committing systematic, continuous and egregious violations of religious freedom”.


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