Cattle Conflict Continues in Nigeria: Religious Civil War
ICC Note: Uninterrupted cattle conflict between groups in Nigeria leads the nation to the edge of religious civil war. Although this conflict has been relevant around regions in Sub Saharan Africa, warnings are on the rise particularly in Nigeria concerning religious freedom.
06/18/2018 Nigeria (The Sydney Morning Herald) – In the fertile grasslands of central Nigeria, the roar of a motorcycle is enough to instill fear in the Christian cattle herders stalked by an increasingly bloody conflict. The rev of an engine is the first sign that gangs of kidnappers have emerged from the forest for their latest sortie in a battle over diminishing farmland that appears to be drawn along sectarian lines.
Across Africa’s most populous country, an undeclared war, triggered in part by climate change and fought over cattle, has turned Muslims and Christians against each other in a confrontation so bitter it threatens to tear Nigeria apart.
But nowhere are the consequences more potentially dangerous than in Nigeria, Africa’s richest and arguably most important country. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes, while farms and villages in many states have been abandoned, raising fears of hunger, economic collapse and spread of disease in camps for the displaced.
The perceived aggressors are mostly semi-nomadic cattle herders from the Fulani, an ethnic group numbering 20 million people with territory across west and central Africa.
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