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ICC Note: With Nigeria’s general election on the way, fury between herdsmen and farmers could lead to major disturbance concerning the country’s political climate. National security still becomes a concern as many civilians have lost their lives as a result of border conflicts.

07/26/2018 Nigeria (Today.NG) – Worsening violence between farmers and herders could hit Nigeria’s general election and “destabilise” the country, according to a new report published Thursday.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) said the long-running battle for land and resources, fuelled by pressures from an increasing population, was now “Nigeria’s gravest security threat,” outstripping the peril from jihadism.

At least 1,500 people have been killed in clashes between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers in central states since September last year, the thinktank said.

Of these, more than 1,300 occurred between January and June this year, it added.

This is at least six times higher than the number of people estimated estimated by the UN to have been killed by Boko Haram in the same period.

The ICG said some progress had been made in tackling the crisis but more needed to be done ahead of elections, which typically heighten the risk of ethnic, religious and political tensions.

“It (the conflict) is exacting an ever deadlier toll and, with elections looming in 2019, could destabilise the country if the government and other actors fail to contain it,” it added.

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