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ICC Note

The government of Nigeria has turned a blind eye to the atrocities being committed across the middle belt by Fulani militants. Even though the government has focused more and more on the northeast region, fighting the Boko Haram threat, they have had very little thought about the plight of Christian farmers who are being killed in nearly the same amounts. Their actions to protect and compensate those that have been attack has been little to none. Even when they act as if they will initiate programs to fix the problem, they are quickly discontinued or forgotten.

 

2017-09-22 Nigeria (WorldWatchMonitor) In Nigeria, it isn’t only the northeast regions, stronghold of the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, that have witnessed severe violence. The Middle Belt of the country, which straddles the divide between the largely Muslim north and the majority-Christian south, is also the scene of ever-continuing violence between settled farmers, who are mostly Christian, and mainly Muslim Hausa-Fulani herdsmen.

Many experts on Nigeria now believe that the violence across the Middle Belt, which World Watch Monitor has reported at length, has been responsible for more deaths than Boko Haram.

Yet to date, the response to the crisis at both federal and state levels has been poor, says the International Crisis Group (ICG) in a new report, published on 19 September. ‘Herders against Farmers: Nigeria’s Expanding Deadly Conflict’ highlights several initiatives at various levels which, it says, have failed to curb the violence.

“The government typically deploys the federally controlled police, and sometimes the army, to areas reporting attacks or clashes. These forces, poorly deployed in rural areas, often lack logistics for rapid response, especially across difficult terrain,” says the report.

“In February 2016, following a public outcry over scores killed in the Agatu area, Benue state, President Buhari ordered a probe, pledging that ‘once the investigations are concluded, we will act immediately to address the root of the problem’. There has been no public report of that investigation or follow-up action,” the ICG says.

“In April 2016, President Buhari said he had ordered security forces to ‘take all necessary action to stop the carnage’, pledging that stopping the violence had become a priority of his administration. Since then there have been many incidents and hundreds killed.”

 

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