Nigeria's pastoral conflict 'six times deadlier' than Boko Haram in 2018, ICG says

Escalating conflict between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria is "six times deadlier" than Boko Haram-related attacks t...

Posted: Jul 27, 2018 1:46 PM
Updated: Jul 27, 2018 1:46 PM

Escalating conflict between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria is "six times deadlier" than Boko Haram-related attacks this year, posing a great threat to the country's stability, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report.

As many as 1,300 Nigerians have died since January in a wave of violent killings that has swept the country's central states, according to the think-tank, which has documented the death toll arising from conflicts in the country.

Boko Haram fighters have waged a decade-long war in Nigeria's north using calculated attacks that have killed thousands and displaced millions internally.

But in its report released Thursday, the ICG said the escalating pastoral conflict in Nigeria's Middle Belt -- largely due to land-use disputes -- is worse than attacks this year by Boko Haram, whose fighters have bombed mosques, markets and public places in the northeast.

Roughly 30,000 Nigerians have fled their homes in affected states, the group said, adding that incessant attacks in Nigeria's central region have placed a heavier burden on the military and security agencies, who should be countering the Boko Haram insurgency in the north.

"The farmer-herder conflict has become Nigeria's gravest security challenge, now claiming far more lives than the Boko Haram insurgency," said the ICG.

"It has displaced hundreds of thousands and sharpened ethnic, regional and religious polarization. It threatens to become even deadlier and could affect forthcoming elections and undermine national stability."

"Land-use contest"

Violence between the Fulani herdsmen, who are mostly Muslims, and predominantly Christian farmers in the central state dates back to 2013.

But killings by armed herdsmen, believed to be Fulani on farming settlements in central states, have increased this year.

Last month, at least 86 people were killed in a week-long attack in Plateau State and 72 people died in a New Year's Day massacre in January after the implementation of anti-grazing laws in Benue State.

The ICG says three things have worsened the crisis: First, environmental challenges in the north have impacted arable lands, forcing herdsmen to encroach on farming settlements in central states.

The new laws banning open grazing in some states and the government's slow response to militia attacks in the region are the other factors.

"The conflict is fundamentally a land-use contest between farmers and herders across the country's Middle Belt. It has taken on dangerous religious and ethnic dimensions," the ICG said in the report.

The think-tank said though the government has deployed military troops and other security personnel to calm the violence in central states, the efforts were not enough to stop the killings.

The government needs to "prosecute perpetrators of violence, disarm ethnic militias and local vigilantes," the ICG stated in the report, in addition to implementing long-term herding reforms in the region.

CNN could not immediately reach the government's spokesman for a comment.

The ability of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the killings will play a significant role in the country's 2019 general elections, the report said.

Buhari, who is ethnically linked to Fulani herdsmen, has faced criticism for his perceived silence over the attacks.

The President was summoned by Nigeria's Senate to explain security strategies needed to tackle the spate of killings in the Middle Belt.

But Buhari, who has visited affected states to commiserate with those involved in the conflict, said he could not be blamed for the actions of herdsmen suspected to have carried out the killings.

He argued that his administration has made "notable successes" in tackling security challenges in the country.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 58640

Reported Deaths: 1677
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18641828
Ramsey7233261
Dakota4188104
Anoka3515114
Stearns286420
Washington200944
Nobles17536
Olmsted168823
Scott147918
Mower10942
Rice10138
Blue Earth8745
Wright8475
Carver8162
Clay76840
Sherburne7037
Kandiyohi6871
St. Louis48619
Todd4222
Lyon4213
Freeborn3581
Steele3381
Nicollet32913
Benton3153
Watonwan3010
Winona25416
Crow Wing22514
Beltrami2150
Le Sueur2101
Martin2045
Chisago1891
Goodhue1878
Otter Tail1853
Cottonwood1750
Becker1501
McLeod1480
Pipestone1479
Polk1453
Waseca1380
Douglas1360
Itasca13512
Carlton1320
Unassigned13241
Pine1280
Dodge1250
Murray1221
Isanti1160
Chippewa1011
Wabasha870
Brown862
Meeker852
Morrison851
Faribault830
Sibley822
Rock770
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson720
Cass712
Mille Lacs693
Renville625
Fillmore610
Lincoln540
Grant523
Swift521
Yellow Medicine510
Pope460
Roseau460
Houston410
Norman370
Kanabec321
Redwood320
Wilkin323
Hubbard300
Aitkin291
Marshall290
Mahnomen261
Wadena240
Red Lake230
Big Stone220
Lake200
Stevens170
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47424

Reported Deaths: 910
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10032206
Woodbury369151
Black Hawk308463
Linn227987
Johnson202116
Dallas184635
Buena Vista179112
Scott165514
Dubuque162331
Marshall142525
Pottawattamie128426
Story114114
Wapello87233
Muscatine84048
Webster7727
Crawford7263
Sioux6143
Cerro Gordo59617
Warren5471
Tama54529
Jasper46626
Wright4551
Plymouth4528
Louisa38014
Dickinson3774
Clinton3623
Washington29310
Boone2442
Hamilton2441
Franklin2339
Bremer2037
Clarke1953
Emmet1882
Carroll1851
Shelby1771
Clay1761
Hardin1730
Marion1620
Allamakee1544
Poweshiek1538
Des Moines1522
Jackson1481
Benton1461
Floyd1432
Mahaska13917
Guthrie1315
Cedar1281
Jones1272
Buchanan1231
Hancock1212
Butler1192
Henry1193
Pocahontas1151
Madison1142
Lyon1092
Lee1073
Cherokee1031
Clayton1023
Harrison1020
Humboldt1001
Delaware991
Taylor960
Iowa941
Monona910
Winneshiek911
Mills850
Page850
Calhoun832
Kossuth830
Sac820
Fayette810
Jefferson800
Palo Alto800
Osceola790
Mitchell780
Winnebago770
Grundy761
Union751
Monroe697
Worth650
Lucas574
Chickasaw540
Montgomery534
Davis521
Cass501
Howard490
Appanoose473
Greene390
Fremont370
Van Buren341
Keokuk331
Ida290
Audubon281
Adair270
Decatur230
Ringgold211
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned30
Rochester
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 63°
Mason City
Scattered Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 62°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 64°
Austin
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 64°
Warming temps and rain inbound
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Chalk the Walk festival happening next weekend in Rochester

Image

Running for a cause

Image

Enjoying a Socially Distanced Concert

Image

Albert Lea Community Theater to halt production until next year

Image

Sara's 10pm Forecast - Thursday

Image

Tractor Pull Motors On

Image

Klobuchar Pushes Legislation for Mental Health Funding

Image

North Iowa shelter no longer in quarantine

Image

Sara's 6pm Forecast - Thursday

Image

Quality Kids Daycare acting as school

Community Events